We are at a critical moment for climate policy in New York State: The Draft Scoping Plan to implement the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) is now open for public comment, and your input can help ensure that our state has an effective and realistic plan in place to meet its climate goals. This guide will prepare you to participate in a public hearing near you and to submit written comments.

Click on Each Topic Below to Learn More:

View NYCP’s official comments by Policy Director, Jen Metzger here.

The Draft Scoping Plan is the State’s plan to reach the goals of New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (or Climate Act, for short). The Climate Act commits New York to:

  • Reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 below 1990 levels, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • Generate 70% of electricity from renewable resources by 2030, and achieve a fossil fuel-free grid by 2040.
  • Ensure a just and equitable transition, including dedicating 35% of the benefits of clean energy investments to Disadvantaged Communities, with the goal of 40%.

The Draft Scoping Plan was developed by the State’s 22-member Climate Action Council, and will be revised on the basis of public comments.  Once finalized, the Scoping Plan will shape state laws, regulations, and government-wide decision-making for years to come. 

Your participation is essential to ensuring that the Scoping Plan is ambitious enough to meet the state’s climate goals. The fossil fuel industry and its allies have launched a well-funded misinformation campaign to undermine public support and weaken political will for an effective climate plan. The industry’s singular goal is to keep New York hooked on fossil fuels. We need to show decision-makers that New Yorkers support the transition to a clean energy economy and a Scoping Plan that will get us there.

Meeting New York’s climate goals will not only dramatically reduce climate-damaging emissions but will also improve public health, economic opportunities, and quality of life for New Yorkers. Implementing the Climate Act is expected to save between $50 billion and $120 billion, alone, in public health costs due to improvements in local air quality. It is also expected to create nearly 190,000 new jobs across the state by 2030 and close to 270,000 by 2050, with a 10 to 1 ratio of jobs created to jobs displaced. Currently, well over half of what we spend on energy leaves the state, primarily for fossil fuels. The clean energy transition will help keep energy spending local, in New York and in our communities.  

You can view a past in-person or virtual hearings, and you can also submit written comments here by July 1. We encourage you to do both!  Speaking at a public hearing is important because the hearings are covered by the media, and we want to make sure that press coverage of the event reflects strong public support for implementing the Climate Act, and not astroturfing by the fossil fuel industry. Testimony at public hearings is limited to 2 minutes, so we encourage you to also submit written comments with recommendations you would like to see in the Scoping Plan (we can help you with this!) Written comments must be submitted by July 1.

To help you with your comments, New Yorkers for Clean Power has prepared public comment guides on:

Click on each link above to review key points and recommendations drafted by NYCP’s Senior Policy Advisor, Jen Metzger.

  • You can pre-register here to speak at a public hearing. Pre-registration is highly recommended (and required if participating in a virtual hearing.)
  • Make sure to show up at the hearing on time so that you do not miss your turn to speak.
  • Comments are limited to two minutes, so must be brief and to the point! 
  • Prepare your statement in advance (2 minutes = 240 words). You can read your statement at the hearing (no need to memorize). Practicing can help make you feel more comfortable!
  • In your statement:
    • Identify yourself and where you live.
    • Make it personal: Why does this matter to you? 
    • Some key points to consider making: 
      • New York needs a strong plan to shift off fossil fuels and achieve the goals of the Climate Act and respond to the climate emergency.
      • All-electric solutions to replace fossil fuels in buildings and transportation, powered by a clean, renewable grid, is the most efficient and realistic pathway to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
      • This pathway will also create the most jobs. The Jobs Study for the Scoping Plan estimates that 189,000 jobs will be created by 2030, alone.
      • Getting off fossil fuels will improve our health and quality of life, and save New Yorkers an estimated $50-$120 billion by 2050 in avoided health care costs.
    • You will not have time for technical details–save those for written comments!

For a primer on the Scoping Plan, watch this overview of the Scoping Plan by NYCP Senior Policy Advisor Jen Metzger, Breaking It Down: New York’s Proposed Climate Plan, and Why You Need to Get Involved, or see the slides here

  • Written comments provide an opportunity to support and help strengthen specific recommendations of the Scoping Plan. 
  • Written comments should include:
    • Your name and the town/city/village where you live.
    • A personal sentence or two about why it’s important to meet the goals of New York’s Climate Act.
    • Key recommendations of the Scoping Plan that need to be supported or strengthened. To help you with your comments, New Yorkers for Clean Power has prepared public comment guides on:
  • Select points from the guides, above, to include in your comments.
  • Share your comments with your State Representatives! Many of the Scoping Plan actions will require legislation that your elected representatives should support. (Find their email addresses here.)
  • Submit your comments on or before July 1.

The CLCPA requires historically underserved communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change to be prioritized by New York’s efforts to decarbonize the economy. In the act, there are specific equity requirements for ensuring Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) are included in the transition to clean energy. The Climate Act mandates that DACs must receive at least 35% of the benefits from the state’s clean energy investments, with a goal of 40%.

Accurately defining Disadvantaged Communities is crucial to ensure all underserved communities benefit from the Climate Act. The criteria for defining DACs was created by the Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG) and is currently open for public comment. The deadline to submit a comment is Friday, August 5th and must be done here.

Resources for Submitting a Comment:

  • Recording of “NYCP Teach-in on Disadvantaged Communities Comment Period” and Slides
  • Recordings of Past NYSERDA Public Hearings