“NY continues to lead the way to combat climate change, and Earth Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the State’s hard-fought progress to build a cleaner, greener future for all New Yorkers,” Hochul said.

Governor Kathy Hochul today issued a proclamation recognizing Earth Day 2024 to kick-off Earth Week in New York State. The proclamation highlights the Governor’s environmental agenda and New York’s historic investments and actions to bolster community resilience in the face of climate change, protect the environment, and connect more New Yorkers to nature. 


“New York continues to lead the way to combat climate change, and Earth Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the State’s hard-fought progress to build a cleaner, greener future for all New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “Our work is not done, and the recently finalized budget will be instrumental in sustaining critical investments in clean water infrastructure, supporting initiatives to bolster climate resiliency and renewable energy, prioritizing environmental justice, protecting public health, and restoring our natural resources.” 


Fighting Climate Change and Promoting Resiliency

New York’s climate goals are among the most ambitious in the nation. Governor Hochul continues to prioritize implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, taking decisive action to meet the scale and urgency of the climate crisis while growing the economy and protecting consumers. New York is advancing a suite of actions to implement the Climate Act, including development of the New York Cap-and-Invest (NYCI) program and complementary policies to address climate change by reducing climate-altering emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels, and investing in an equitable, clean energy future that advances climate justice. NYCI will be key in addressing climate change by reducing climate-altering emissions from every sector of the economy and investing in an equitable, clean energy future for all New Yorkers.  


Transition to Renewable Energy

Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York State is building on its unprecedented clean energy investments to accelerate New York’s transition to clean energy, including more than $28 billion in 61 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the State, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, nearly $3 billion for clean transportation initiatives and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. 


Preserving New York’s Natural Environment

New York State remains a national leader in environmental stewardship to protect, restore, and improve lands, air, and water statewide, helping to better the health of New Yorkers and connecting people to nature and the great outdoors. 


To ensure New York’s continued stewardship of the state’s environmental treasures, the FY 2025 Enacted Budget sustains the State Environmental Protection Fund at a record-high $400 million, supplying significant resources for the conservation of open spaces that provide wildlife habitat, sequester carbon, ameliorate flooding, protect water supplies, preserve farmland, advance environmental justice, and enrich abundant public recreational opportunities. 


Governor Hochul also continues to prioritize the implementation of the historic Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022. In the last year, New York State committed Environmental Bond Act funds to priority projects, including awarding $200 million for water quality and resilient infrastructure, making $200 million available for zero-emission school buses and Clean Green Schools, and investing $68.1 million to enhance Sojourner Truth State Park and $13.1 million to support construction of the Adirondack Rail Trail and Saranac Lake Depot project. 


Investing in Clean Water

Protection of clean water remains a top priority and the FY 2025 Enacted Budget includes another $500 million in clean water infrastructure funding, bolstering one of the largest water infrastructure financing programs in the nation and bringing the state’s total clean water investment to $5.5 billion between 2017 and this year. The historic investment is in addition to funding being made available through the Environmental Bond Act, helping ensure New Yorkers have access to clean drinking water and empowering more municipalities to invest in efficient and effective wastewater treatment strategies. 


Reducing Waste and Expanded Recycling

New York State continues to advance more sustainable solid waste management practices through the implementation of New York State’s new Solid Waste Management Plan. The plan will help build the circular economy to address one of the state’s largest contributors to climate-altering greenhouse gases by bolstering existing efforts to divert waste from landfills, return materials back to productive use, and reduce climate emissions.


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar said, “New York State is leading the nation in environmental protection thanks to the record investments championed by Governor Hochul which are galvanizing projects across the state. All New Yorkers have a role to play in safeguarding our water, air, and natural resources, and we encourage everyone to make Earth Day every day by prioritizing sustainable products and actions that can help protect the planet for future generations.”


New York State Parks Commissioner Pro Tempore Randy Simons said, “Our state parks are the perfect places to embrace the idea of Earth Day and learn about our environment. I’m grateful for the strong support of Governor Hochul and Legislature for our work to protect and improve one of New York State’s greatest environmental legacies – our state park system – as we celebrate our Centennial this year.” 


New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Guided by Governor Hochul’s vision and leadership, New York is a national model for taking decisive action to protect our natural resources and environment while expanding opportunity in our clean energy economy. As we celebrate Earth Week, our collective efforts as a State once again demonstrate that the decisions and investments we make, big and small, are both embedded in respect for our planet and aimed providing a better and healthier quality of life for all New Yorkers.”


Environmental Facilities Corporation President & CEO Maureen A. Coleman said, “This Earth Week, EFC is celebrating New York’s success in advancing Governor Hochul’s ambitious clean water and resiliency agenda. We’re empowering communities with record funding and unparalleled technical assistance to help them meet the challenge of modernizing their environmental infrastructure and strengthen these critical systems against the impacts of climate change. Every day is Earth Day at EFC as we work tirelessly to uphold New York’s status as a national leader in water infrastructure investment, symbolic of our commitment to protecting our precious and abundant water resources and upholding New Yorkers’ rights to clean, safe water.”


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