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IIPIIOS!i PUBLIC FORUM: Divesting The State Common Retirement Fund From Fossil Fuel Holdings Testimony by Ana
IIPIIOS!i
PUBLIC FORUM: Divesting The State Common Retirement
Fund From Fossil
Fuel Holdings
Testimony by Ana Orozco, Climate Justice
Policy and Programs Coordinator,
UPROSE
Good morning, State Senator Krueger and Assistant Speaker,
Felix Ortiz.
My name
is Ana
Orozco, lam
the Climate Justice
Policy and Programs Coordinator at
UPROSE. We are an environmental and social
justice organization based
in Sunset Park,
Brooklyn, and for decades have mobilized the
Sunset
Park
community on issues
of sustainable and just development, participatory
planning practices,
and
governmental accountability.
We have long advocated on behalf of public health for cleaner
air and an
overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
by the city, state and federal government.
We are happy
for the opportunity to advocate for the divestment from dirty energy at the state
level.
Divesting the State Common Retirement
Fund from fossil fuel holdings
is a necessary step
in
the right
direction towards reaching
NY State’s ambitious and commendable goals of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions
by 40%
by 2030 and
by 80%
by 2050 and towards the overall goal of curbing climate change.
The science
is clear, continued support of the fossil fuel economy will only continue to
accelerate
climate change and
in turn, we will continue to be hit by extreme weather events
like Superstorm
Sandy, tornados and hurricanes.
UPRO5E commends State Senator Krueger and Assembly Assistant
Speaker Ortiz for initiating this step for
NY
State to begin divestment from the
fossil fuel economy.
We
hope this sets
a precedent for the State of NY that will encourage divestment
from
fossil fuel
holdings
elsewhere
in the State’s budget.
Also,
we hope this sets
a precedent for other states to follow.
NY
State
has
long been
a leader on issues viewed as controversial
by other states, we have not been afraid to
embrace change for the sake of progress. Joining the movement to divest from
fossil fuels
should not
be something we shy away from or reject;
rather,
we ought to be
a leader in the fossil fuel divestment
movement.
Divestment as
an overall
strategy to
effect change has
historically proved
successful,
and the fossil
fuel
divestment movement has already had
an effect on the industry.
CEO’s of oil and coal companies are
publicly speaking out against the movement to divest from fossil
fuels,
a
move they would not bother
if divestment was not a threat to their business. Appealing to the morals of those economically
to
make
benefiting from the fossil fuel industry has proven futile.
By now the science overwhelmingly supports
the connection between climate change and the burning
of fossil fuels, yet the industry has not made
a
move towards
shutting down
dirty oil refineries, power plants,
or coalmines, or towards
investing
in
clean energy alternatives. The industry
will only respond to
a
loss of economic profit. The divestment
movement puts
precisely the type of pressure on the fossil fuel
industry needed to be truly effective.
Now
is the time to continue the move away from the dirty energy industry,
and to support clean energy
solutions
like offshore wind and solar energy.
UPROSE
is
a leading advocate of climate justice at a city,
state and national level.
We are
a
part of
several coalitions and alliances that promote environmental
and climate justice in the most vulnerable
communities. Central to the climate justice framework
is
the recognition that the pathway to resilience
is
local
and must be built up from
a grassroots
level.
For this reason,
it is essential that frontline
communities-- those communities most impacted by the effects of climate change
be at the
--
forefront of shaping policy and programs around resiliency.
Low-income communities of color are the
most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, therefore,
we know first hand the urgency
of moving
away from fossil fuel
dependency.
Sunset Park is home to
3
power plants,
3
waste transfer stations, and
En
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Siempre
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166A 22”Street
Brooklyn,
11232
(t)
718 492
9307
(07284929030
www.uprose.org
the Gowanus As a Expressway, which sees 200,000 cars and 25,000 trucks pass through each day.
the Gowanus
As a
Expressway, which sees 200,000 cars and 25,000
trucks
pass through each
day.
like
result,
our residents,
mostly low-income
Latinos and Asians, suffer many health problems,
asthma,
lung disease and various cancers.
We are
a
waterfront community and
are therefore very vulnerable
to
extreme weather events,
in
as a
which occur more and more often
our area,
result of climate change.
Sunset
Park is
home to one of New
York City’s
is
a
last remaining industrial waterfronts
and
home to
diverse working-class community.
it is
it
a
While
also home to polluting facilities
has the potential to
be
leader in
the clean energy industry.
While
it is
it is
of utmost importance to phase out
fossil fuel energy,
equally important, if
not more
so, to plan out and begin
a
move towards clean energy alternatives.
Our
industrial waterfront holds potential for solar
arrays,
and our waterfront provides space for
offshore
wind energy. You
can look at the maps included in
the written copies you
have of this testimony,
which
illustrate space currently available space
in
Park
Sunset
for solar arrays.
Some of the space highlighted
We
has
since been designated for particular
projects,
but these projects do not rule out solar canopies.
cannot afford to lose jobs in
is
our fight for clean air.
The clean energy industry
the wave of the future,
and it
only makes sense that communities
by
most affected
polluting industry get the necessary training
to be a
part of the clean energy workforce.
It
makes
no sense to
invest
in
the companies
causing climate change
at the same time we are fighting
climate change. If we truly want to end
our dependency on
dirty energy we cannot continue
to
financially support the fossil
fuel industry.
Thank you for the opportunity
to testify
in
bill.
support of this important
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166A 22nd Street Brooklyn, NV 11232
(t) 718 492 9307
(07184929030
www.uprose.org

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Siempre En Lucha Y Siempre Par Nuestra Gente
166A 22nd Street Brooklyn, NY 11232
(tJ 718 492 9307
(I) 718 492 9030
www.uprcse.org