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Toolkit Helps Build Support for Clean Energy

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Tuesday, May 18, 2021   

NEW YORK -- New Yorkers who are trying to build support for wind or solar projects in their communities can turn to a new online toolkit for help.

New York has made developing clean energy to fight climate change a top priority, as 2020 was the hottest year on record, but sometimes a few vocal opponents of a project can slow it down or stop it completely.

Echo Cartwright, director of climate mitigation for The Nature Conservancy in New York, said the toolkit, called "Building our Clean Energy Future," provides resources and guidelines for building the community support needed to make those projects a reality.

"How to write a letter to the editor. How to submit comments in a public hearing. How to gather individuals together within their community to create a support group," Cartwright outlined.

She added clean-energy projects may bring economic benefits to communities as well as fighting climate change.

Cartwright pointed out making the transition to clean-energy industries can be a win-win for communities struggling to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

"They can definitely help schools and the community by providing tax revenue," Cartwright explained. "It will also include training and workforce abilities for those that might be displaced from the fossil fuel industry."

The toolkit describes how projects provide rental income to landowners and an annual credit residents of host communities receive on their utility bills for ten years.

Cartwright noted right now, 39% of the electricity in New York comes from fossil fuels that contribute to climate change and exacerbate health problems such as asthma, heart and lung disease.

"We are on the cusp of a major transition, replacing fossil fuels, going towards clean, renewable energy technologies," Cartwright contended. "Altogether, it will be a tremendous benefit to solving this climate crisis that we're in."

Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy in New York - Long Island contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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