Bill Memo: Climate and Community Investment Act
This bill amends the Environmental Conservation Law, the Executive Law, the Labor Law, the Public Authorities Law and the Tax law to impose a pollution fee to fund the equitable implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. This legislation also creates a new Climate and Community Investment Authority, which would implement the emissions pricing program and manage the funds in coordination with the comptroller.
This legislation will charge polluters a fee for emissions they produce, and the funds will be spent on investments required to meet emissions reductions targets in the timeline established by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). This bill also creates a revenue distribution system that prioritizes disadvantaged communities in a manner consistent with the CLCPA.
While New York took a bold step in passing the CLCPA, the landmark law has not been funded, inhibiting the state’s ability to transition the worlds 10th largest economy off of fossil fuels. The Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) fills this funding gap by charging polluters for each ton of emissions they produce. The money that is generated will be used to fund the transition to renewable energy.
The funds will be used in four different areas that support communities, households, and businesses, with an emphasis on supporting communities hardest hit by the climate crisis. One area of funding will support green jobs and infrastructure projects, such as solar and wind projects, expanding electrification of buildings and increasing public transportation options upstate. These infrastructure projects will provide good local jobs through the state. The legislation will also create an impacted worker fund to provide direct assistance and job training for workers affected by the transition to an economy powered by renewable energy. The impacted worker fund will also support municipalities that are heavily burdened by the transition away from fossil fuels.
These funds generated by charging polluters will also create a community just transition fund to provide grants to community organizations to develop community led energy planning. The majority of the just transition fund will provide direct support to disadvantaged communities. The final funding area will create an energy rebate fund to provide direct assistance to low- and moderate-income families and small businesses to pay for energy related costs.
By charging polluters for their harmful emissions, New York will be able make the investments need to transition to renewable energy, ensuring disadvantaged communities are not left behind in the process.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Major Benefit
Memo #: 38