Rep. Maloney, Climate Advocates Release Climate Change Health Effects Report to Close Out Climate Week NYC

Sep 26, 2020
Press Release

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform (COR), stood with climate experts and community advocates in Hunters Point South Park to mark the end of Climate Week NYC. The Congresswoman released a new House Committee on Oversight and Reform staff report on the health and economic effects of climate action.

 

“If we keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius over the next 50 years, the benefits would be tremendous,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Just in our state of New York, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and premature deaths could be avoided. And the economic value of these health benefits would exceed $3.5 trillion. The United States could take action today to get us closer to that and the other targets of the Paris Agreement. This week, I announced the COR Climate Change Agenda, a set of six bills, including my Federal Agency Climate PREP Act, that draws on the recommendations of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Congress and the Administration have a duty to lead and a responsibility to act without delay.”

 

Congresswoman Maloney’s Federal Agency Climate PREP Act, to be introduced on Tuesday with Subcommittee on the Environment Chairman Harley Rouda, would require climate change adaption planning and coordination at all federal agencies. Senator Amy Klobuchar is introducing the Senate companion.

 

“I know first-hand the effects of Global Warming as I live a block from the park [Hunters Point South Park], and we had 5 feet of water in my building lobby when Hurricane Sandy hit.  There are 5 features of the park that make it a model for future parks to combat climate change.  These features are tidal salt marshes, native vegetation, berms, bioswales and rip rap shore protection,” said Rob Basch, President, Hunters Point Park Conservancy.

 

"This report shows what we in the environmental movement have known for a long time: that our behavior can affect the climate significantly and that we must listen to the science about the effects of climate change. Implementing bold pollution-reduction policies will save lives, save money, create green jobs, and improve our environment. Thank you, Congressmember Maloney, for your leadership on this critical environmental issue this Climate Week,” said Julie Tighe, President, New York League of Conservation Voters.

 

“We see and know global warming is here. By acting together to reduce our carbon footprint, we CAN make a difference. The decisions we make every day either help or hurt our planet. Being mindful and making wise decisions, we can each contribute to the effort to remain under 2 degrees planetary warming,” said Catherine Skopic, Vice Chair, The Sierra Club.

 

“The Old Astoria Neighborhood Association has worked to keep our environment clean, especially streets and parks, for litter and garbage are a stain on all our lives. We support citizen clean ups and were also successful in getting the city to clean the streets in Old Astoria, which had never seen a streetsweeper. The Astoria waterfront, while it is vulnerable to the sea, can also serve as an example on how to deal positively with Climate Change, and we look forward to building a sustainable future,” said Richard Khuzami, President, Old Astoria Neighborhood Association.

 

 “I’ve seen the environmental changes. I was there when the power houses were built within 7 miles of Astoria Houses. I was there when pollution and sewage was put into the East River, and I’ve seen these things change because of the all of the actions of people here. In Astoria Houses, in that area of Queens near the Tri-Borough Bridge, we have children that have asthma and sleep with machines. All of this is because of the air that they breathe, and we are fighting for cleaner air, and we are asking for your support to continue to help us clean up the air in Northwestern Queens. Our children have to take away at least 20 days a year from school out of their classes. It is wrong. It is all wrong,” said Claudia Coger, Presdient, Astoria Houses Tenants’ Association.

 

“I’ve been seeing our communities recycling in hopes of doing our part in saving our planet. I often listen to my seniors who speak of the drastic change in the seasons as well as my own personal experiences. We now know that the change in seasons are due in part to climate change, and it’s surreal. I pray we can rectify this situation before it’s too late,” said April Simpson, President, Queensbridge Tenants’ Association.

 

“Sunrise is a youth movement fighting for a Green New Deal that combats the climate crisis and creates millions of good jobs. From the South Bronx, to Astoria, to Sunset Park, we organize around frontline communities leading the way to a just transition in their neighborhoods. By affirming that the Green New Deal for Public Housing is a day-one priority and pairing today’s report with her commitment to harness the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s extraordinary powers to achieve climate action now, Chairwoman Maloney is ready to be a key ally in the movement to win a GND during the next Congress,” said Harry Manin, Sunrise Movement.

 

“NYCHA residents are already suffering as it is, so whenever there’s a problem in this country – no matter what it is – those at the bottom are the ones that are going to be hurt the most. We are already in an environmental crisis in NYCHA. There’s mold in the apartments. The buildings are falling apart. It is an environmental disaster,” said Stan Morse, Lead Organizer, Justice for All Coalition.

 

"Climate chaos demands acceptance that there is no line between habitat and human health. Flooding backs up sewage into basement apartments, which often house our poorest, and transports industrial toxins into farms and backyards. Ocean acidification damages the very shellfish we'll rely upon to clean our water of sewage and runoff pollutants. We must draw down and reverse carbon emissions,” said Sally Attia, Esq., HarborLAB.

 

The report can be viewed here.

 

Background

 

Congresswoman Maloney was one of the first Members of Congress to publicly support the Green New Deal and is also a cosponsor of the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act.

 

On Thursday, as Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform (COR), she released the “COR Climate Change Agenda,” a set of six bills that draw on recommendations from the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis that fall within COR’s jurisdiction. The Agenda utilizes the federal government’s unique position in the fight against climate change by making important reforms in the pursuit of greener and more efficient policies, programs, and processes.

 

Included in the COR Climate Change Agenda is the Federal Agency Climate PREP Act, to be introduced by Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney and Subcommittee on the Environment Chairman Harley Rouda on Tuesday. This legislation would require climate change adaptation planning and coordination at all federal agencies.  Senator Amy Klobuchar is introducing the Senate companion.

 

The Congresswoman, with Representative Jared Huffman, and Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Gerry Connolly, previously introduced H.R. 7969, the Postal Vehicle Modernization Act to require the Postal Service to upgrade its fleet to electric or zero-emission vehicles by 2040.

 

On Friday, Congresswoman Maloney introduced the Public Housing Solar Equity Act, legislation to ensure that when a public housing authority (PHA), such as NYCHA, sells or leases assets to private companies for the installation of solar panels, residents’ needs come first. This bill will also ensure that a housing authority provides documentation, before selling or leasing any asset in connection with solar energy projects, that shows in quantifiable terms how that sale or lease will financially benefit the residents and/or the authority’s budget. The housing authorities must demonstrate these benefits by providing the actual dollar figures of the transaction and its own cost-benefit analysis.

 

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