Press Release: NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE SHAUN DONOVAN UNVEILS CLIMATE PLATFORM THAT CENTERS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND PRIORITIZES GREEN JOBS, OPEN STREETS, AND EDUCATION INVESTMENTS IN OVERBURDENED COMMUNITIES

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

December 11, 2020

Contact: Yuridia Peña, [email protected], (718) 790-0837

NYC MAYORAL CANDIDATE SHAUN DONOVAN UNVEILS CLIMATE PLATFORM THAT CENTERS ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND PRIORITIZES GREEN JOBS, OPEN STREETS, AND EDUCATION INVESTMENTS IN OVERBURDENED COMMUNITIES

Platform is laser-focused on equity and proven strategies that will put us on a path to net-zero emissions and protect New Yorkers from today’s climate threats like heat waves, flooding, and severe storms.

Plan underscores the importance of cross agency collaboration and partnering with all levels of government to implement climate change solutions in New York City.

NEW YORK, NY – Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan released today his climate platform, entitled A More Sustainable, Equitable, and Just New York. The plan outlines an integrated and collaborative approach to creating sustainable neighborhoods across New York City. The blueprint underscores equity as a principal driver in every policy.

“Your zip code should not determine your quality of life, the surrounding environment, or your chances for economic advancement. That is why I am committed to an equitable climate plan that prioritizes overburdened neighborhoods that have historically suffered the worst impacts of pollution, and are suffering most acutely from climate change. These are the same communities with the greatest death toll from the coronavirus,” said Shaun Donovan, Candidate for Mayor of New York City. “This plan puts these neighborhoods first, while promoting equal access to healthy air, permanent Open Streets, and holding our government accountable as we drive towards a  just transition to net-zero emissions.”

Highlights of the platform include:

  • Issuing an all-of-government Environmental Justice Executive Order within the first 100 days of the Donovan Administration.
  • Spearheading jobs and education programs for young New Yorkers, including a new NYC Climate Corps, a citywide initiative built off of the federal Clean Energy Service Corps program, and a Youth Horticulture Corps that will help to maintain public spaces.   
  • Expediting closure of all “peaker plants” currently located in all five boroughs.
  • Eliminating pollution and fossil fuels from new and existing buildings, by enacting a zero carbon code by 2030, eliminating fossil fuels from new buildings even sooner, and fully implementing the Climate Mobilization Act.
  • Establishing permanent, long-term Open Streets that put people, and not cars, first and center on environmental justice and equity.
  • Making NYC parks an essential service to safeguard a minimum level of yearly funding.
  • Reintroducing, expanding, and improving upon NYC’s curbside organics program, and restoring support for community-based compost and recycling operations.
  • Developing a dynamic, comprehensive five borough resilience plan that considers cross-boundary impacts across the region, responds to real-time data and climate science, and is rooted in community-driven engagement.
  • Empowering and preparing the next generation to address the climate crisis, by bringing climate education into P-12 classrooms across subject areas, and instituting relevant high school coursework, internship experiences, and certification programs, in partnership with relevant employers and CBOs, that prepare NYC students for the climate jobs of the future.

Shaun’s climate policies will build upon the historical efforts of New York’s leaders like Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who took aggressive climate action that reduced New York City’s carbon footprint by 13 percent and made the city’s air the cleanest it had been in 50 years. Current leaders in the Council have also put us on the course for success. For example, Councilmember and Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection Costa Constantinides championed forward-thinking climate legislation to mandate our largest buildings reduce emissions, legislation that City Council Speaker Corey Johnson delivered for New Yorkers into law. In addition, Borough President Donovan Richards has also been a fierce protector of New York City communities in the wake of climate disasters like Superstorm Sandy.

A leader on these issues for decades, Shaun Donovan is committed to embedding climate into every single decision made by the city. The comprehensive platform was developed in collaboration with a team of climate solution experts from across the city and country in the private and public sectors as well as labor leaders.

“As Shaun Donovan’s climate plan demonstrates, he has the vision and foresight to turn the climate crisis into actions that not only make sense for the planet, they make sense for all the millions of people who call NYC home,” said Gina McCarthy, former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator for President Barack Obama.

“Shaun Donovan’s platform addresses the effects of climate change that hit working people and communities of color first and worst,” said Mike Fishman, Climate Activist, Former SEIU Secretary-Treasurer and Campaign Chair. “Shaun has the experience to solve complex issues like climate change, and he is a natural connector who can bring together community leaders, unions and experts from around the world to build a better New York for everyone.”

“The next administration must take bold steps to make climate change a priority,” said Kate Orff, Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, Columbia University. “By bringing experts to the table and developing a detailed plan this early on in the race, Shaun exhibits a strong commitment to leading this work. His plan puts a critical emphasis on protecting underserved communities and empowering local residents to steer the changes made in their neighborhoods. By implementing his vision for public space, green infrastructure, and an inclusive, green economy, we can envision a resilient and thriving city.”

“Shaun Donovan just gets it. Shaun understands that making the Big Apple green will lead to a more equitable city across all five boroughs for all New Yorkers. New York needs to be a global leader again, and with this plan Shaun is showing us the way,” said Vishaan Chakrabarti, Architect and Dean, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley.

“Shaun’s plan involves every New Yorker, from our youngest learners engaging in sustainable, locally grown gardens, to our youth gaining education and experience in green jobs and community-based resilience projects, ensuring that climate education is an essential part of building the citizens of New York’s future,” said Ruth Cohen, former senior director in education at American Museum of Natural History.

A lifelong New Yorker, Donovan served as a member of Barack Obama’s Cabinet as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Office of Management. He developed a close partnership with President Obama and was trusted by him and Joe Biden to take on some of the biggest challenges facing our country. After Hurricane Sandy hit, he led the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, leaving a stronger, more resilient region than before the storm hit.

For details of Donovan’s climate policy platform, please visit shaunfornyc.com/issues/climate/.

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