Foregoing $3 Billion Bond a Huge Missed Opportunity for New York’s Environment and Economy
EDF statement from Natalie Snider, Senior Director, Coastal Resilience
(NEW YORK, NY - July 30, 2020) Gov. Cuomo’s office announced today that it would not move forward to place the Restore the Mother Nature Bond Act on the November ballot for voters to consider. Had it moved forward and secured the approval of voters, the measure would have approved a $3 billion bond to fund a suite of solutions to build climate resilience and benefit New York’s economy and workers, including flood risk reduction, natural infrastructure, open-space land conservation, climate change mitigation, clean energy projects and water quality improvements.
“The decision to not move forward with the Restore the Mother Nature Bond Act is not only disappointing, but it’s also a huge missed opportunity for the people, environment and economy of New York during this crisis. This measure would have had a significant, multi-generational impact in making New York’s communities more equitable and resilient to climate change, while also creating jobs and boosting the economy. This stimulus is desperately needed to address the impact of COVID-19 and to protect people from future impacts from climate change – particularly in environmental justice communities that would have received 35% of Bond Act funding.
“While we regret this setback, EDF is proud to have stood with a broad coalition of 125 other organizations ready to highlight how investments in the environment, such as natural infrastructure, could benefit New York’s communities and economy. The need to make New York more resilient to extreme weather, to provide clean water, air and access to nature, while also creating jobs and economic opportunity has not gone away – and will only increase with climate change.
“In deciding not to move forward with the Bond Act, the governor’s office rested its decision on the state of the economy, the bottom of which has fallen out across the country with 1.43 million unemployment claims filed last week and gross domestic product falling an astonishing 9.5% in the second quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an important reminder that Congress and the Trump administration need to do more to support state and local governments while investing in our nation’s infrastructure and jobs.
“We look forward to building on this coalition to find new avenues to make wise investments in a more resilient, equitable and prosperous future for all New Yorkers. We will look to take up the Bond Act again in 2021 with the governor and the New York State Legislature”
- Natalie Snider, Senior Director, Coastal Resilience, Environmental Defense Fund
- Background: New York just took a huge step toward funding lasting climate resilience
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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.