Dunkirk, Jamestown Listed As Climate Disadvantaged

Large parts of both Jamestown and Dunkirk have been qualified as disadvantaged communities by the state Climate Justice Working Group.

The list of cities was finalized Monday. The village of Brocton is also included.

The 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act requires New York state to invest or direct resources to ensure that disadvantaged communities receive at least 35%, with the goal of 40%, of overall benefits of spending on clean energy and energy efficiency programs. The act also requires state agencies and entities to prioritize greenhouse gas emissions co-pollutant reductions and ensure state decision-making does not disproportionately burden disadvantaged communities.

“Advancing climate justice is central to New York’s climate actions and our ongoing efforts to transition all New Yorkers to a cleaner, greener future,” said Basil Seggos, state DEC commissioner. “Today marks a significant milestone in New York’s ongoing work to achieve climate justice and DEC looks forward to continuing to work with communities and stakeholders across the state to combat climate change and build healthier communities strengthened by our green economy.”

The working group spent roughly two years defining disadvantaged communities by evaluating, and ultimately voting on 45 indicators, including: environmental burdens and climate change risks; sociodemographic factors such as age, race, and income; and health vulnerabilities. Using a methodology that worked at the census tract level, the working group combined and ranked all indicators into an overall score. In addition to the geographic component, the criteria includes low-income households located anywhere in New York State for the purpose of investing or directing clean energy and energy efficiency programs, projects, and investments. These individual households report annual total income at or below 60 percent of the State median income, or households otherwise eligible for low-income programs.


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