The climate crisis is already here, and it is harming our communities and threatening our future. New York City is increasingly at risk of life-threatening and life-changing superstorms, with sea-level rise that could double the number of New Yorkers exposed to a 1-in-100 year flood by 2100. Right now, too many marginalized communities in our city are exposed to polluted air and unclean water, the result of decades of environmental injustice.
While the climate crisis is an urgent challenge, Maya Wiley also knows that it gives us the opportunity to reimagine our city. From renovating NYCHA to expanding flood protections, from building the Gateway Tunnel to protected bike lanes, we can and we must transform the way the city functions at every level, across industry, community, and neighborhood. In doing so, we can improve our city’s infrastructure, invest in a climate-resilient economy and create thousands of good-paying jobs.
To work toward a carbon negative future for New York City, a Wiley Administration will:
- Center environmental justice communities in our planning and decision-making processes.
- Invest in climate infrastructure development and resiliency planning processes that improve quality of life.
- Develop equitable adaptation measures for both social and built infrastructure, with a focus on environmental justice.
- Pursue ambitious mitigation targets, committing to matching or surpassing the state mandate for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.
To center environmental justice in our city’s future, we will:
- Create a citywide Asthma Action Plan to address the public health emergency facing communities with high asthma rates
- Create a Green Future Force that will place young people for up to a year with City agencies and nonprofits doing sustainability and resiliency work
- Elevate opportunities to support communities of color to be owners, producers, distributors and generators of renewable energy and climate resiliency
- Create an Office of Public Space Management to give streets back to New Yorkers, by permanently reallocating road space to walking, cycling, community gatherings, and green urban design projects
To invest in climate infrastructure, we will:
- Invest $3 billion in building a climate resilient NYC. This will fund projects like Renewable Rikers, solar and wind power infrastructure, energy storage systems, coastal resiliency projects, and fully funding the Department of Parks and Recreation’s capital budget.
- Invest $2 billion in repairs and climate-resiliency measures in all NYCHA housing, ensuring the longevity of public housing and reducing our carbon footprint.
- Tackle air and water pollution by dramatically increasing the amount of both green space and open space, and aggressively enforcing the City’s existing Local Laws that protect against air pollution and lead contamination.
- Redesign green economic development so that it not only generates green jobs and high-quality career pathways, but also creates wealth and community ownership for individuals, families and communities.
To develop equitable adaptation measures, we will:
- Establish citywide groups of community members for resiliency planning and action, and empower these groups to disseminate their findings and recommendations to local community boards, and city agencies.
- Invest in infrastructure so that city-owned social infrastructure like schools, libraries, hospitals, and Community Care Centers can act as climate-ready community hubs, serving as cooling centers during heatwaves
- Convert concrete school yards into multifunctional urban oases and allow community access to the resilience and adaptation benefits of green school yards
- Build a network of community-driven mutual aid organizations that the City can work with to provide timely relief and urgent communication in the wake of climate disaster
- Support a transformation of utilities, including public accountability for long-deregulated investor-owned companies like Con Edison
To purse ambitious mitigation targets, we will:
- Remove carbon emissions from energy generation, prohibiting new fossil fuel infrastructure and funding sources, including pipelines and gas turbines.
- Reduce the carbon footprint of our buildings, which are responsible for 68% of NYC’s direct emissions through retrofits and efficiency upgrades.
- Reduce our dependence on personal cars by implementing congestion charging, investing in 300 miles of bike lanes and using City purchasing power to transition the existing fleet of buses and ambulances to electric vehicles.
- Transform our waste management systems by improving water handling, expanding the curbside pickup organics recycling program and expanding the Donate Food and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine programs.
- Work toward carbon negativity by 2040 by expanding natural carbon sinks that absorb and store carbon dioxide and transition to a consumption-based greenhouse gas framework.