On Sept. 21 to 27 Climate Week, New Yorkers urged to go car-free for one day

Residents are urged to walk, ride a bike, or use mass transit. Photo: Unsplash

New York State has launched the “Car Free for Climate” campaign as part of the state’s recognition of Climate Week 2020 from Sept. 21 to 27.

The goal of the campaign is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging New Yorkers to pledge to forego driving their vehicles at least one day during Climate Week. For one day New Yorkers are being encouraged to walk, ride a bike, or use mass transit.  New York’s ambitious goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, and 85 percent by 2050, from 1990 levels.

Said Gil Quiniones, president and CEO of the New York Power Authority: “We encourage all New Yorkers to take part in ‘Car-Free for Climate’ week and leave their cars in the garage for just one day during the Sept. 21-27 week. Together we can reduce pollutants into the atmosphere and begin to build a cleaner environment for our children and theirs.”

Doreen Harris, acting president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Climate Action Council co-chair said,“The Car Free for Climate pledge is an excellent opportunity for all New Yorkers to do just that – bike to work, bundle errands, or recreate locally – and learn more about how small changes incorporated into each day can deliver meaningful benefits for our natural resources and communities while helping our fight against climate change.”

Transportation accounts for 36 percent of greenhouse gases in New York State and represents more than electricity generation, waste, refrigerants, and agriculture combined. 

The state under Gov. Andrew Cuomo has invested in non-vehicle transportation, including biking/walking infrastructure and the Empire State Trail from Albany to Buffalo and New York City to the Canadian Border. In addition, through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, New York State has supported transforming downtown areas to make it easier for people to walk or bike. New York State has also invested in pedestrian safety through the New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, a five-year, $110 million multi-agency initiative launched in 2016 to make streets safer for pedestrians. 

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos said,”Transportation is the largest source of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions. We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to reducing emissions and we are encouraging all New Yorkers to join us in this effort.” — Car Free for Climate Campaign 

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