ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– Outside of Governor Kathy Hochul’s Office, advocates were calling on the New York State Climate Action Council to include in its plan a requirement for all new building to be electric.
“We’ve seen all these extreme weather events in New York, throughout the country so we need to play a part to move quickly away from burning fossil fuels,” said Sam Fein, Albany County Legislator.
The advocates say buildings contribute 32% of New York State’s greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why they want to transition from gas burning appliances for heating and cooking to those that are electric.
“What’s nice about electric heat pumps is that they are not burning a fuel source to heat. So we’re getting out of the manufacturing business and we’re getting into the recycling business. We’re recycling heat that’s outside in the winter, it’s always there its ripe for the taking we’re just taking that heat and repurposing it to our house to heat our house and that is a sustainable approach,” explained Scott Arnold, owner of RYCOR HVAC.
Advocates say not only is it better for the environment, but for our health.
“We can treat asthma, we can treat cardiac disease, cognitive decline, poor birth outcomes and even we can push against the lowering of our life span that is caused by burning fossil fuels in our buildings. But as a pediatrician I know it’s not preferable to treat those problems once we have caused them,” stated Dr. Kathleen Nolan, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
On Wednesday, the governor’s office announced a $44 million energy efficient housing development project for seniors in Yonkers. Just last month, the governor directed that all new passenger vehicles sold in the state must be zero emissions by 2035.
However, some have voiced concerns about costs of transitioning away from the use of fossil fuels and the lack of choices consumers would have.
The council is expected to vote on its final plan for renewable energy usage in December.