RPCC’s Response to Governor Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State Address


Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his “State of the State” address yesterday, in which he outlined a progressive agenda that prioritized several issues related to climate change. Some highlights include ambitious programs to support wind and solar projects, initiatives to reduce emissions from high-polluting power plants (including a plan to close all coal plants in NYS by 2020), and plans to reconvene research programs cut by the federal government (most importantly, the Scientific Advisory Committee).

These are excellent initiatives that place New York State in a leadership role in the effort to meet the challenges faced by a warming climate. However, given the scope of the challenges we face, the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition urges Governor Cuomo to adopt even bolder and more decisive action.

The scientific and technological know-how to transition New York State to a clean energy economy with net zero emissions exists today. What we lack is the political will to quickly implement effective climate solutions and end our dependence on fossil fuels.

Protecting our community from the threats posed by climate change requires more support and funding from state government. Specifically, we need significant resources dedicated to helping homeowners and businesses achieve the highest standards of energy efficiency, so they can power their houses and building using 100% renewable energy. We need investment in statewide infrastructure to support electric vehicles and fundamental improvements to our public transit systems that will make public transit a viable and equitable alternative to single occupancy car use. We need to protect and expand green spaces that will sequester CO2 emissions. Lastly, we need our leaders to hold polluters accountable for paying their fair share, thereby providing capital to speed a just transition towards renewable and emission-free energy in our state.

Given Governor Cuomo’s commitment to combating climate change, all of these plans are realizable within the next decade. Andrew Cuomo can embrace his role as a climate champion and know that many groups and individuals throughout the state, including the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, are fiercely committed to implementing climate-friendly initiatives in our local communities.


CONTACT:  Abigail McHugh-Grifa, abby@rocpcc.org, 607-342-4334

Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) an inclusive, nonpartisan network of over 120 local business, faith, labor, civic, and environmental organizations, whose goal is to inspire and facilitate a large-scale climate mobilization in the Greater Rochester Region to identify and implement effective climate solutions that will achieve carbon neutrality by 2027.