Our Plan to Address Climate Change

As your City Council member, I will prioritize ensuring that our City’s ambitious climate goals are implemented rapidly, equitably, and with a focus on creating good, living-wage union jobs for our district, especially in environmental justice communities:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our residents’ energy burden, and create jobs by retrofitting small and mid-sized buildings.

  • Transition to renewable energy.

  • Build green, active transportation infrastructure.

  • Make our neighborhoods more livable and resilient.

Read more below...

The Issues:

 

To rebuild a better Bronx, our recovery needs to be centered around an aggressive, equitable, and job-creating response to climate change. Our health and the future of our city depends on it.


Climate change hits low-income communities first and worst. Our City’s history of environmental racism is reflected in the disproportionate health impacts of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities, with community members exposed to higher levels of air pollution. But climate-related health issues predate the pandemic. In parts of our district, residents are at high levels of risk for heat-related illness and death. This is due to a combination of factors including poverty, lack of green space, and inadequate air conditioning. Bronxites have also been hit hardest by the economic crisis. According to the New York State Department of Labor, the borough’s unemployment rate was 16% as of late 2020, compared to approximately 12% for New York City overall.

Our Solutions:

To build a New York City that is better for all New Yorkers, we need an equitable, community-centered approach to addressing the climate crisis and to build a green workforce. With New York City's goal to reduce climate emissions 80% by 2050, the groundwork has been laid for a zero carbon future.

 

As your City Council member, I will prioritize ensuring that our City’s ambitious goals are implemented rapidly, equitably, and with a focus on creating good, living-wage union jobs for our district, especially in environmental justice communities.

 

With so many of our neighbors out of work, we must expand programs to train New Yorkers for the green economy. Specifically, I will fight to accelerate the City's investments in energy-efficient buildings, clean energy, green transportation, and resilient neighborhoods:

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our residents’ energy burden, and create jobs by retrofitting small and mid-sized buildings: 

Buildings are responsible for about 70% of the City’s greenhouse gas emissions. With emissions caps for larger buildings already established, it’s time to focus on the smaller buildings that so many people in our district live and work in. 

  • Stop pollution from the small and mid-sized buildings that make up 98 percent of the City’s building stock, without financially impacting low-income residents. 

  • Retrofit affordable multi-family housing to make these buildings more efficient and affordable, while creating jobs. 

  • Speed up energy-efficient retrofits and add solar panels to every roof of every NYCHA building. Doing so will create green jobs, save NYCHA money and reduce NYCHA’s carbon footprint.

Transition to renewable energy: 

We must move quickly to transition to 100% clean energy sources, which will help our City do its part to combat climate change, and reduce the harmful impacts of climate pollution, including asthma and other respiratory illnesses. This can create good green jobs and slash emissions.

  • Make major investments in New York and community-based renewable energy infrastructure, along with training programs for workforce development to support this.

  • Implement the Renewable Rikers proposal to turn this publicly-owned land into a hub for renewable energy. 

  • Retire all oil and gas infrastructure in New York City, including replacing dirty peaker plants in communities with scalable clean energy sources. 

Build green, active transportation infrastructure:

A historic underinvestment in protected bike lanes in the Bronx has contributed to a spike in cyclist injuries in our borough, which are up nearly 30% from 2019. As well, our district needs expanded and cleaner bus service

  • Build protected bike infrastructure, which will contribute to better public health, and create hundreds of jobs. 

  • Bring the Citi Bike program into the Bronx.

  • Expand bus service, including the Bx41, Bx10, and Bx20, and advocating for a bus line from Fordham Road to LaGuardia. 

  • Electrify the City’s bus fleet.

 

Make our neighborhoods more livable and resilient:

Building a more sustainable city must include investing in green neighborhood infrastructure that can protect residents from extreme weather due to climate change. 

  • Fund stormwater upgrades and flood mitigation.

  • Find  better solutions for heat-vulnerable residents who lack in-home cooling, including retrofits to make older buildings more energy efficient.

  • Make community-driven investments in our parks and greenspace, including community gardens and urban farms and the Daylighting Tibbetts Brook project. 

  • Bring back and expand the City’s organics recycling program, which can also create good jobs. 

  • Maximize City purchasing power to support a transparent, equitable, and sustainable food system by fully implementing the Good Food Purchasing Program across agencies.

Abigail Martin for City Council

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