Free, Easy-to-Use Guide Provides Resources to Build Support for Local Wind and Solar Projects to Reap Community Benefits
To help community members who want to build support for local clean energy projects, The Nature Conservancy in New York and New Yorkers for Clean Power have published a toolkit to support their efforts. Entitled Building Out a Clean Energy Future, the free, online toolkit provides background, strategies and resources for New Yorkers regardless of prior knowledge about clean energy.
Identifying common barriers and outlining actions to manage and overcome them, the toolkit shares steps that community members can take to support renewable energy projects in their city, town, or village and help bring about the many benefits of clean energy including cleaner air to breathe, a stronger economy with good-paying local jobs, and less carbon pollution, the driver of climate change.
Betta Broad, Director of New Yorkers for Clean Power said, “Despite public polling that has shown, time and time again, that a majority of New Yorkers support new clean energy projects, a few vocal opponents can derail local projects, impeding the larger goal of reducing New York’s dependance on fossil fuels. The toolkit provides the knowledge and resources for people who support the responsible development of clean energy, allowing them to make their voices heard too.”
The toolkit offers a “Clean Energy 101” and instructs readers on how they can learn about local projects in development to get started. Actions in the toolkit span from speaking with neighbors and colleagues about projects, to hosting public meetings to build local support. Sample social media posts, fact sheets, and other resources are also shared to help campaigns grow more powerful by activating local support.
“We know New Yorkers are worried about global warming and want to be part of climate solutions. We were pleased to team up with New Yorkers for Clean Power to create resources to help community members learn about and engage in New York’s clean energy future. Community involvement and support for renewable energy projects is essential for tackling climate change and leaving a safer world for our children and grandchildren.”
Currently, New York State relies on power sources that pollute air, land, and water, with just 5 percent coming from wind and solar. The air pollution from fossil fuels, the source of approximately 39 percent of New York’s electricity, contributes to climate change and exacerbates numerous health problems, including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory infections like pneumonia. Transitioning to clean energy would bring many important benefits: cleaner air and water, improved health and wellbeing, and more good, local jobs, from construction and engineering to local economic activity from the additional purchases of goods and services.
To view or download Building Out a Clean Energy Future, visit nature.org/nyenergy.