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 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.

Climate Justice Working Group: Upcoming Meetings

Members of the public are invited to observe Climate Justice Working Group meetings, both in person and online. Pre-registration is requested to attend meetings in person and strongly recommended to view meetings via webcast. A recording of each meeting will be posted on the website within three days of the meeting or as soon as practicable.

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. 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. Christopher Coll, Director of Energy Affordability and Equity Program, NYSERDA

Contact: [email protected]

Upcoming Meetings


Monday, March 27, 2023
1:00 p.m. ET

This meeting will include the vote on the final Disadvantaged Communities criteria. Members of the public can observe the meeting in person at the locations below. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to attend the meeting in person.


In-Person Locations:
  • NY Green Bank, Alistair W.C. Clark Boardroom, 1333 Broadway, Suite 300, New York, NY 10018
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) 15 Columbia Circle, Plattsburgh Conference Room, Albany, NY 12203
  • DEC Region 5 Office, 1115 NYS Rt. 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977
  • DEC Region 8 Office, 6274 East Avon-Lima Rd., Avon, NY 14414
  • DEC Region 9 Office, 700 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY 14209

Members of the public can also view the meeting via webcast by using the Webex information below. Pre-registration is strongly recommended to view the meeting via webcast.

[View Meeting]

Webinar password: welcome3.27.23 (93526633 from phones)
Webinar number: 2331 830 0087
Join by phone: +1-518-549-0500
Access code: 2331 830 0087

This meeting will also be recorded and posted on the Climate Act website within three days, or as soon as practicable.

Archive of Past Meetings


2023 Climate Justice Working Group Meetings