Howie Hawkins, the recent Green Party candidate for Governor, called today upon Governor Cuomo to acknowledge the climate change is being caused by human activity, starting with the burning of fossil fuels.
Hawkins also said that Cuomo needs to appoint a strong independent DEC Commissioner who will take seriously their role to be the voice of environmental protection.
"Cuomo as weatherman-in-chief is not the solution to climate change. He loves closing highways during storms but we need him to stop the burning of fossil fuels that is causing climate change. His biggest test is to finally stop promoting the burning of natural gas by banning fracking," said Hawkins.
"We don't need another DEC Commissioner who just rubber stamps the directives and politics of the second floor. We need someone who will tell Cuomo that you can't rewrite science to reflect your personal beliefs or desires of your campaign contributors," noted Hawkins.
While Cuomo has received some praise for being willing to increase state investments in changes to protect residents against extreme weather, Hawkins says those funds will be wasted if the state fails to take action to halt climate change. Hawkins and the Green Party wants the state to commit to transitioning to 100% green energy by 2030. Such a program would also create 4.5 million jobs.
Hawkins said Cuomo's green energy initiatives were completely inadequate. For example, Cuomo's NY Sun Initiative commits the state to building 3000 megawatts of solar capacity. A 100% green energy program would require 150,000 megawatts of solar.
"Investing in protecting low-lying communities against storm surges will be washed away when climate changes continues to accelerate. To meet the internationally-agreed goal of staying below a 2 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures in order to have a 50 percent chance of avoiding runaway global warming, 80% of existing fossil fuel reserves must never converted to greenhouse gas emissions. That means Cuomo needs to not only say no to fracking anywhere in New York, but he needs to halt the myriad natural gas infrastructure investments Cuomo has green lighted and commit to an emergency program for a rapid transition to 100% green energy. The climate crisis is a planetary emergency. It is time for Cuomo to acknowledge that and act accordingly," added Hawkins.