Back in February, we brought together activists, politicians, and business interests to discuss local climate action in the age of big fossil. Much of the forum focused on the New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS), the city’s $160 billion pension system, and the potential impact of its divestment from targeted fossil fuel companies and investment in renewable energy.
On October 27th, New York City announced that the Trustees of NYCERS passed a resolution calling on the board “to begin the process of developing a long-term investment strategy that takes into account the realities and risks of climate change.” While this falls short of the goals of 350NYC and other organizations that call for full divestment from fossil fuel companies, it’s a vital first step.
More recently on the national front, TransCanada withdrew its permit application for the Keystone XL Pipeline, leaving them the option to re-apply in future. In short order, instead of giving TransCanada that option, President Obama denied the permit! This is a victory for progressive activists and climate economists who have long opposed the pipeline.
Props to our partners at 350NYC, United for Action and other groups for these positive results. We’ll stay vigilant as the NYCERS Board develops its strategy, and we continue to support the call to prevent the development of the Port Ambrose Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) facility. State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and State Senator Brad Hoylman are spearheading the effort to bring their fellow legislators on board to demand that Governor Cuomo veto Port Ambrose.
You can help today: Call your NYS Senator and Assembly Member to tell them you oppose Port Ambrose LNG and ask them to sign on to the Rosenthal/Hoylman 2015 Port Ambrose Opposition Letter. Then call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390 and ask him to veto the project.
And don’t forget to ask that all public officials help make New York a renewable, fossil-free state.
As we move toward the 2016 presidential election, we’re often asked to commit to candidates and engage in campaigns. We think it’s important to state our position:
Greater NYC for Change is an issue-based, grassroots organization focused on promoting everyday social and political change. While we have always supported candidates who share our commitment to progressive change, we do not issue formal endorsements, nor do we actively engage in primary elections. Individual members of our organization are, of course, able to support candidates of their choice, but such support should not be seen as representative of the organization as a whole.
We look forward to a robust debate of ideas that will sharpen positions and produce more effective national candidates in 2016.
Meanwhile, we’ll be working at city and state levels on the issues that matter to us:
Superstorm Sandy left an indelible mark on our city, our neighbors, and our lives.
Yet, in the months since, as the waters receded, homes were rebuilt, and we returned to our daily routines, its warnings of the devastating impacts of our warming climate were often forgotten or pushed to the back of our minds as more immediate needs overtook us.
Neglected or ignored, climate change is still here, and we still must take drastic steps to avert more severe and frequent local and global impacts. This is why the next Global Climate Summit to be held in Paris in December 2015 is so crucial to achieving international consensus and finding a path forward to lowering our reliance on fossil fuels.
Our friends at 350NYC have organized a timely panel discussion titled “Countdown to Paris: Update on Global Climate Treaty Negotiations.” The panelists include:
Jeffrey Salim Waheed, Deputy Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations
Reinhard Krapp, Minister, Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations