For Immediate Release
January 10, 2021
Stringer Climate Plan Would Make New York City the National Leader in the Fight Against Climate Change
Bill McKibben: “Scott Stringer is a climate hero and this plan proves why. He will spare no effort in the fight for our planet, our children, and our future.”
Scott Stringer: “The climate crisis requires bold and urgent action. My plan to build a more sustainable City will put New Yorkers to work at good green jobs, slash the pollution that is choking communities of color, protect our shorelines against the next storm, green our streets and parks, and meet our emissions goals.This is why I’m running for office and what we all owe our children.”
New York, NY – Today, Comptroller Scott Stringer released a sweeping climate plan that presents his vision to take New York off of fossil fuels by putting a stop to any new fossil fuel infrastructure, begin phasing out all fossil fuel infrastructure citywide, retire polluting peaker plants, transform Rikers Island into a hub of urban sustainability, and bring environmental justice to every community. Stringer’s climate plan is the first part of his mayoral agenda, which he is calling “The Details to Deliver,” highlighting the need for specific, actionable plans to set New York City on a fundamentally new trajectory and build a city for every New Yorker.
New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said: “New York City must be a national leader in the fight against climate change, and my climate plan lays out bold but achievable goals that will deliver a future for our city that is fossil fuel-free, green, sustainable, and resilient. We’re running out of time to solve the climate crisis – and now it’s our time to be daring about setting a new trajectory for our city and our planet. The lives of our children and grandchildren depend on it.”
Bill McKibben, environmentalist and co-founder of 350.org said: “Scott Stringer is a climate hero and this plan proves why. He will spare no effort in the fight for our planet, our children, and our future. This plan will be the most progressive municipal climate action in the nation and it will lay the groundwork for a New York that can both thrive, and help drive the global solutions we desperately need. It’s not only visionary and will make New York City a global climate leader–it’s actionable. I know Scott’s commitment to the climate fight is unwavering – as is his commitment to environmental justice that is demonstrated throughout this proposal. We need Scott Stringer’s bold climate leadership at City Hall.”
Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection and Stringer Campaign Climate Adviser Costa Constantinides said: “Comptroller Stringer’s visionary climate plan is exactly the kind of comprehensive strategy that New York City needs to protect our environment, build a more liveable city, and ensure we can withstand the devastating effects of climate change. More than eight years after Superstorm Sandy pummeled many of our communities, it’s past time to get serious about building a sustainable future. Scott Stringer’s agenda is the right plan that matches the urgency of this moment.”
Stringer’s plan will create tens of thousands of climate jobs, clean our air, prioritize public need over profit, and create a model of how urban sustainability can save our planet. The plan is organized around six priorities:
Launch a “Fossil Free NYC” movement to meet our climate commitments faster with a commitment to end the era of fossil fuel infrastructure:
- Seek to ban all new fossil fuel infrastructure, including new pipelines or the redevelopment of power plants
- Create a public utility to power the city with 100% renewable energy by 2035
- Begin a just transition to retire all existing pipelines, gas storage, and the remaining eighteen peaker plants operating across the city
- Double the City’s Solar Tax abatement to jumpstart solar installations
- Unlock the potential of energy storage by installing both large and small battery systems to allow New Yorkers to reliably access renewable energy.
Create tens of thousands of good-paying green jobs and grow the green economy by creating economic opportunity in every neighborhood:
- Fight for the federal and state funding to implement a Green New Deal
- Create the workforce development programs and apprenticeships that can put more New Yorkers to work at tens of thousands of good-paying, 21st century green union jobs.
- Transform Rikers Island into a hub of energy storage, renewable energy generation, and wastewater treatment
- Take on corporate financiers of climate destruction by working with pension trustees
- Launch the nation’s largest green and blue bonds program to fund green and resilient capital investments
Deliver environmental justice to ensure that all New Yorkers benefit from a healthier future:
- Address air quality in areas with high rates of asthma tasking agencies with measuring indoor air quality, pinpointing pollution hotspots, and fighting for better national regulation
- Retire half of all New York City based peaker plants by 2028 and the rest by 2035
- Scale back our urban highway network, and repurpose road space into green space
- Fight for the Green New Deal for public housing to create a greener, more livable NYCHA
- Eliminate childhood lead exposure by targeting buildings already linked to cases of lead exposure
Promote greener, energy-efficient buildings to tackle our biggest carbon source:
- Decarbonize the City’s building stock and promote energy-efficient buildings by making retrofit mandates achievable and affordable.
- Ban natural gas and oil use in new construction or major renovations to allow for the scaling back of fossil fuels
- Halt the use of polluting number four heating oil by 2025
- Implement fast-track green permitting to accelerate green construction
- Retrofit schools into hubs of sustainability by undertaking deep retrofits, electrifying buildings, topping roofs with solar or vegetation, and installing batteries
- Develop a plan of district-scale clean energy projects that can take swaths of buildings off of fossil fuels all at once
Support active streets and green spaces to improve air quality and physical health:
- Make Open Streets permanent to provide more space for midblock playgrounds, greenery, and bike paths
- Install fully protected bus lanes for all high-ridership bus lines
- Extend Citibike across the five boroughs, massively expand bike lanes, and subsidize the purchase of e-bikes
- Invest in parks and enhance urban forests by putting more resources into maintenance, supporting volunteers, planting trees, and building 100 new playgrounds over the next five years
- Expand green infrastructure to avoid the development of expensive wastewater treatment facilities
- Encourage the electrification of vehicles, especially school buses and convert the dirtiest 25% of the City’s fleet to clean, electric alternatives by 2025
Enhance resiliency programs to protect New York against extreme heat, sea rise, and storms:
- Protect all 520 miles of coastline from climate change and rising seas starting with implementing a five borough resiliency plan
- Propose new strategies to elevate homes and businesses, protect wetlands, and build back better
- Address the danger heatwaves pose to vulnerable populations by distributing air conditioners, planting trees, and building green roofs
- Create a long-term floodplain restoration program that moves willing homeowners out harm’s way and helps create naturally resilient shorelines that can protect our neighborhoods
- Increase access to low cost resiliency loans that can help elevate and safeguard homes and businesses
Congressman Jerry Nadler said: “Climate change is real and threatens all of us, regardless of nationality, political party, or economic status. Extreme climate change has already arrived in New York City. The potential for stronger storms and rising seas mean Sandy-level flooding could occur once every 23 years as opposed to once every 400. We only have a small window of time to take meaningful action to cut carbon emissions if we are to avoid irreversible changes. That is why I support the proposal put forward by Scott Stringer today to insure that New York City will be a national leader in the fight against climate change. For the sake of future generations of young people, we must move quickly to tackle the climate crisis head-on.”
Senator Julia Salazar said: “Scott Stringer has been an environmental leader throughout his career—and his visionary climate plan is further proof of his strong commitment to the fight. He’s going to chart a course that ends our reliance on fossil fuel pollution—and launch a revolution of green jobs and renewable energy. Scott has the most progressive climate plan New York City has ever seen—and I can’t wait to work with him when he’s mayor to make it a reality.”
Senator Alessandra Biaggi said: “For New York City to have a viable future, we absolutely must take serious, bold steps to being a climate-resilient city. Not only that, but it’s critical that we act on the opportunities – alongside the challenges -that the climate crisis presents, especially when it comes to creating green jobs for New Yorkers. Scott’s plans will get us there. He has the vision and the strength to see to it that New York is making the upgrades it needs to alleviate the worst of the climate crisis, while thriving amidst the changes that are already underway.”
Assembly Member Amanda Septimo said: “The South Bronx is a community ravished by the impact of failed climate policies. For decades, residents and advocates have been fighting to ensure that environmental justice communities are at the forefront of planning, and Scott Stringer’s climate plan makes this a reality. With the highest asthma rate in the nation, the South Bronx is ready for leadership that will take these issues seriously, and move our community from the frontlines of impact to the frontlines of change. Scott Stringer’s climate plan is a roadmap to a healthier, more sustainable future for all New Yorkers.”
Matthew Miles Goodrich, volunteer with Sunrise NYC said: “Comptroller Stringer’s plan sets the gold standard for a metropolitan Green New Deal in cities across America. We challenge the rest of the field of mayoral candidates to match this plan in scope in eliminating carbon pollution in New York City on an ambitious timeline that ensures a just transition for all.”
Rachel Rivera, Sandy survivor and climate activist said: “My family lost almost everything to Sandy. Ever since, I’ve been fighting for the structural changes that will protect low income communities and communities of color from climate disaster. Ever since he committed to divesting New York City’s pension funds from fossil fuels I’ve known that Scott is on the side of people, not polluters. His climate plan will protect our communities and our planet from climate change.”
Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director at Food & Water Action said: “New Yorkers deserve a serious, aggressive plan to move the city off our ruinous reliance on fossil fuels. Today, Scott Stringer has offered just such a plan, starting with an immediate halt to new fossil fuel projects in the five boroughs. New Yorkers know all too well the immense threat climate change poses to all of us. The crisis demands bold, transformative change, and with today’s plan we have a roadmap for just that in New York City.”
Rohit T. Aggarwala, Senior Urban Tech Fellow, Cornell Tech said: “Scott’s climate agenda is exactly the kind of ambitious but achievable plan that will realize New York’s important carbon reduction targets and make our city resilient.”
Pamela Pettyjohn, President, Coney Island Beautification Project said: “Scott was with us after Sandy and has been fighting for crucial resiliency projects ever since. His plan will help protect New Yorkers and their homes, schools, hospitals, and businesses from the wrath of sea level rise. I trust Scott to do the real work of making New York City and my community a safer, healthier place.”
Pete Sikora, climate activist and campaigner said: “The actions of our next Mayor will determine if we actually meet our emissions goals or just settle for a deeply inequitable status quo. Scott’s bold, ambitious plan sets the bar for the action we need to clean our air and combat inequality.”
Karen Argenti, long-time Bronx community activist and environmental advocate said “Green infrastructure will help us defeat the climate crisis in NYC by capturing more carbon, lowering the heat island effect, and reducing stormwater and flooding. All of this will help us get closer toward our climate goals, and as our next Mayor, Scott Stringer will create tens of thousands of new green jobs for New Yorkers by promoting clean air and water, and building a sustainable future for all of us. I am proud to stand with my friend, Scott, who will lead the charge toward a greener city.”
Comptroller Stringer has spent his career fighting for a more sustainable future; working in the trenches with climate activists, creating detailed blueprints on how to achieve a cleaner, greener city, and harnessing every lever of his office to advance the causes of climate action on the local, national and international stages. He has:
- Launched New York City on a path to achieve the first and largest fossil-fuel divestment of any pension system in the nation, targeted billions of investments towards the green economy, and challenged the financiers of fossil fuels.
- Stood with communities across New York City to reject the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, such as the Williams Pipeline and North Brooklyn pipeline, and fought for an end to fracking in New York State and beyond.
- Elevated environmental justice concerns by pushing back against polluting peaker plants that spew toxins into the air of our most vulnerable communities and by offering strategies to refashion our streetscape to scale back urban highways.
- Pushed for policies that can create good, green jobs by incentivizing the installation of green roofs, fast tracking solar projects, and greening the City’s capital program.
- Fought for federal resiliency funding and proposed strategies to create a more resilient city by protecting wetlands, safeguarding homes and businesses, and building out green and gray infrastructure that will protect against the next storm.
To read the full Stringer climate plan, click here.
Scott Stringer grew up in Washington Heights in the 1970s. He attended P.S. 152 on Nagle Avenue and I.S. 52 on Academy Street. He graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Marble Hill and John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, a CUNY school.
Stringer was elected City Comptroller in 2013. Prior to serving as Comptroller, he was Manhattan Borough President from 2006 to 2013 and represented the Upper West Side in the New York State Assembly from 1992 to 2005. He and his wife, Elyse Buxbaum, live in Manhattan with their two children, Max and Miles.
The link to the livestream of today’s event can be found on Facebook.