The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s Environmental Justice Promise
New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (“CLCPA”) sets ambitious mandates for the state to decrease greenhouse gases and expand renewable energy capacity. The statute also acknowledges the outsized health and socioeconomic burden borne by communities historically and currently impacted by disproportionate environmental pollution and adverse effects of climate change. The CLCPA aims to address this disparity by, among other things, prioritizing public investment in the most overburdened communities. This white paper discusses questions that New York must grapple with in implementing the CLCPA’s investment mandate, including how to define and quantify “benefits,” the concerns and critiques of environmental justice advocates, and where the process stands today.