New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes joined the Bay Ridge Environmental Group (BREG) and southern Brooklyn community members for a rally in support of the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA).
State Senator Gounardes is a co-sponsor of the CCIA, would create over 150,000 new jobs in the green energy sector, as well as require polluters to pay for the carbon they emit. Revenues from this carbon tax would be used to provide a rebate on green electricity bills for the lowest-earning 60% of New Yorkers, saving millions of households thousands of dollars each year.
Included in the CCIA are earmarked funds to strengthen southern Brooklyn’s protection against storms that are becoming stronger due to climate change. Superstorm Sandy destroyed hundreds of southern Brooklyn homes in 2012 and storms to come are likely to have even more devastating impacts, as the climate crisis causes them to increase in strength, speed, and scale. With the projected rate of sea level rise, parts of Southern Brooklyn, from Marine Park to Coney Island, are expected to be uninhabitable within the next century.
“Every southern Brooklynite remembers where they were when Superstorm Sandy hit. It devastated our community, costing so many of us our homes, our livelihoods, and for some, their lives. I co-founded Bay Ridge Cares in the wake of Sandy to help our neighbors access crucial support as they waited for their power to come back on or their houses to be rebuilt,” said Senator Andrew Gounardes. “But our response to the ever-growing threat of the climate crisis can’t be just to rely on individual actions. We know the climate crisis is coming and as the father of a young child, it terrifies me to think about the disaster he might inherit if we don’t act on bold, decisive climate legislation now. The CCIA is smart climate policy. We can’t afford to wait any longer.”
The Bay Ridge Environmental group said, “The Bay Ridge Environmental Group’s focus is on making our global issues local ones. We need to act aggressively to protect South Brooklyn from the effects of climate change, but also to invest in a renewed waterfront and cheap, clean energy. We are proud to join Senator Gounardes in stressing the importance and opportunities available to South Brooklyn in the CCIA.”