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Climate Justice

Working to ensure representation, inclusion, and benefits for all New Yorkers in the State’s clean energy future

Although everyone in New York is affected by climate change, not every New Yorker experiences environmental burdens and climate vulnerabilities equally across the State. Communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis face greater risks due to existing social and health disparities driven by disproportionate pollution and disinvestment.

To address historic inequities and exclusion from decision-making processes, New York is prioritizing climate justice by ensuring that historically marginalized communities directly participate in, and benefit from, the State’s climate actions and the transition to a clean energy economy. Specifically, the Climate Act Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. requires the State to invest or direct resources to ensure that Disadvantaged Communities receive at least 35 percent, with the goal of 40 percent, of overall benefits of spending on clean energy and energy efficiency programs.

The resources below can help spread the message about climate justice to affect change across New York State.

Programs and Resources

Energy & Climate Equity Strategy

NYSERDA's Energy & Climate Equity team is working to improve engagement opportunities and clean energy program access for historically marginalized communities. Shifting toward more coordinated and meaningful engagement aims to elevate the lived experiences and direct input of historically marginalized communities in NYSERDA’s policies and planning. This transformational approach will help ensure that all New Yorkers benefit from the transition to renewable energy sources, cleaner air, and economic development.

Learn more about NYSERDA’s Energy & Climate Equity Strategy

Scoping Plan Toolkit

The Toolkit is a resource to help community and partner organizations conduct outreach and education on the Climate Action Council Scoping Plan. Resources include infographics for social media and factsheets on key Scoping Plan chapters, including climate justice. We will continue to build out the list of resources to facilitate conversations about New York’s climate work.

Learn more about the Scoping Plan Toolkit Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Climate Justice Working Group (CJWG)

The CJWG has served an important advisory role in the Climate Action Council process, providing strategic advice for incorporating the needs of Disadvantaged Communities in the Scoping Plan. Access recordings and presentations from past CJWG meetings and learn more about the process to develop criteria to identify Disadvantaged Communities.

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Disadvantaged Communities Criteria

The Climate Act charged the CJWG with the development of criteria to identify Disadvantaged Communities to ensure that frontline and otherwise underserved communities benefit from New York’s clean energy transition. Access resources and fact sheets (translated to 10 other languages) outlining the process for identifying the draft criteria.

Learn more about the Disadvantaged Communities criteria Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Barriers and Opportunities Report

The report assesses why some communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change and air pollution and have unequal access to clean energy. Recommendations from the report were incorporated into New York State’s Climate Action Council’s Scoping Plan to help ensure that the benefits of clean energy and a safe and healthy environmental are accessible for all New Yorkers.

Learn more about the Barriers and Opportunities Report [PDF] Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.


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