NEW YORK, N.Y. (Oct. 24, 2023) -- The following statement was issued today by the Wildlife Conservation Society concerning New State Gov. Kathy Hochul’s historic announcement of a major green energy project that will power 2.6 million homes and provide 12 percent of the state’s electricity needs.

Said Monica Medina, President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society:

“At WCS, we extend congratulations to Governor Kathy Hochul and the state of New York for their leadership in addressing the climate crisis with today’s pivotal announcement of the largest investment in clean energy in US history. Every step taken to reduce fossil fuel emissions is a step to protect all life on Earth from the devastating effects of warming planet.

“This transition off fossil fuels paired with steps to protect nature are the world’s best strategies to mitigate the climate crisis. We know through science that the world’s natural climate infrastructure—including forests, peatlands and coastal and marine environments — is already keeping the world much cooler than it would be without them, by removing from the atmosphere upwards of half the excess CO2 we emit. 

“We particularly applaud the inclusion in today’s announcement of the more than $85 million to support wildlife and fisheries research, mitigation, and enhancement that will help ensure there are no severe negative impacts to wildlife and their habitats with significant wind development in waters off New York.

“We encourage New York State to invest in workforce development for these STEM ecological and biological monitoring roles and to target these investments in communities of color and low-income communities that have historically been underrepresented in STEM fields.

“Today's announcement makes New York State a leader in this energy transition and is a significant downpayment on the road to net-zero emissions. The deployment of wind energy that minimizes impacts to species and ecosystems will have cascading benefits for New York's communities. Slashing emissions helps us curb the loss of nature and safeguard a vibrant future for our children and grandchildren.”