New York State’s initiative to fund disadvantaged communities in the face of climate change – The Knight News
New York has over 800 kilometers of coastline which has played a major role in the development and influence of the state. But these same coastlines that have helped define the state are now facing the challenge of climate change.
As climate change continues, threats such as hurricanes are becoming more powerful. New York is no stranger to powerful storms, such as Hurricane Sandy, which caused more than $15 billion in damage and displaced thousands of New Yorkers. Additionally, sea level rise also puts many neighborhoods at risk of flooding. To protect the communities that will be most affected by climate change, New York created the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) was introduced in the New York State Legislature in June 2019 and signed into law by then-Governor Cuomo in July 2019. Additionally, in the 2022 budget of the New York State, the state has allocated more than $4 billion for environmental causes to combat climate change. Additionally, according to the New York City Council, “New York City also remains committed to the principles of the Paris Agreement, and we have joined with other cities and countries in a global effort to reduce emissions. greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.”
Despite New York’s attempts to address climate change, New York may not be able to address climate change on its own, as sea levels are expected to rise at least 10 inches over the coast over the next 30 years.
In addition, many communities will still have to deal with the impact of climate change. Professor Clive Belfield, from the Department of Economics at Queens College, said ‘Communities living on the shore will be flooded much more often – their land values will drop’. Prof Belfield also mentioned that “there won’t be enough grants to deal with the many problems of climate change – there are so many problems (damage to roads, damage from flooding, health effects heat stress…)”, which may show structural failure. in New York’s response to help these communities.
Lawmakers should also focus on other ways to help these communities, as Professor Belfield says “NY should invest in heat management strategies: shade, trees, health programs; it should not invest in subsidies for flooded houses.
The CLCPA and additional state funding have already started to have an impact. According to the Climate Action Council, more than $300 million has been spent on the “Coastal Resiliency Project from Far Rockaway to Neponsit”. Additionally, an additional $400 million was spent to improve water quality on Long Island.
Kyle Daniels is a sophomore at Queens College and lives in Far Rockaway and has seen the impact climate change has had on his community. Kyle said, “I think government intervention is needed to deal with powerful corporations getting away with bad environmental policies” to protect his community. The impact of climate change is being felt in New York, and lawmakers are taking action to protect the state.