Climate Justice Working Group

Working to ensure all New Yorkers are included in New York’s clean energy future.

Climate Justice Working Group

Working to ensure all New Yorkers are included in New York’s clean energy future.

The Climate Justice Working Group has had an important advisory role in the Climate Action Council process, providing strategic advice for incorporating the needs of disadvantaged communities in the Scoping Plan. The Climate Act requires the State to invest or direct resources in a manner designed to ensure that disadvantaged communities receive at least 35 percent, with the goal of at least 40 percent, of overall benefits of spending.

The Climate Justice Working Group voted to approve and adopt the final disadvantaged communities criteria to advance climate justice during a meeting on March 27. A fact sheet on the final criteria will be translated and, along with an interactive map and final report, will be made available online as soon as practicable.

The Climate Justice Working Group has been tasked with:

The Working Group plans to consult with an Environmental Justice Advisory Group to ensure that while we move the State toward a carbon neutral economy, all New Yorkers will reap the economic and environmental benefits of our nation-leading transition.

Disadvantaged Communities Criteria

New York’s Climate Act recognizes that climate change doesn’t affect all communities equally. The Climate Act charged the Climate Justice Working Group with the development of criteria to identify disadvantaged communities to ensure that frontline and otherwise underserved communities benefit from the state’s historic transition to cleaner, greener sources of energy, reduced pollution and cleaner air, and economic opportunities.

Meet the Climate Justice Working Group

The Climate Justice Working Group is comprised of representatives from Environmental Justice communities statewide, including three members from New York City communities, three members from rural communities, and three members from urban communities in upstate New York, as well as representatives from the State Departments of Environmental Conservation, Health, Labor, and NYSERDA.

  1. Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance
  2. Jill Henck, Clean Energy Program Director, Adirondack North Country Association
  3. VACANT-Rural Representative (Position formerly held by Dr. Donathan Brown, CEO & Co-Founder, Adirondack Diversity Solutions)
  4. Sonal Jessel, Director of Policy, WEACT for Environmental Justice
  5. Rahwa Ghirmatzion, Executive Director, PUSH Buffalo
  6. Amy Klein, CEO, Capital Roots
  7. Mary Beth McEwen, Interim Executive Director, ‎Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida and Madison Counties
  8. Abigail McHugh-Grifa, Executive Director, Climate Solutions Accelerator of the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region
  9. Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE

New York State agency members are:

  1. Alanah Keddell-Tuckey, Chair, Director of the Office of Environmental Justice, DEC
  2. Neil Muscatiello, Director, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, Center for Environmental Health, DOH
  3. Elizabeth Furth, Empire Fellow, DOL
  4. Michael DiRamio, Assistant Director, Energy and Climate Equity, NYSERDA

Contact: [email protected]

Archive of Past Meetings

2021 Climate Justice Working Group Meetings

January 27, 2021

February 24, 2021

March 12, 2021

March 24, 2021

April 21, 2021

May 12, 2021

May 24, 2021

June 15, 2021

June 23, 2021

July 20, 2021

July 27, 2021

August 26, 2021

September 17, 2021

October 19, 2021

November 17, 2021

December 2, 2021

December 9, 2021

December 13, 2021