This is a letter to the editor written by Sally Courtright about NYS Assemblywoman Anna Kelles’ recent op-ed in The Ithaca Voice titled “New York needs $15 billion in climate funding now.” It was not written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit letters to the editor, send them to Matt Butler at

Assemblywoman Kelles’ comments are clear and logical. The recent message from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is also clear but downright scary.

It is reassuring to live in a state that recognizes the severity of our climate crisis.  There are a slew of climate bills waiting for approval in New York’s Legislature.  Twelve of them have been bundled into a package called ‘Climate Can’t Wait’ that are being promoted by a long list of smart environmental groups.

These bills call for the divestment of fossil fuels, no gas infrastructure in new buildings, an end to fossil fuel subsidies, the rapid development of renewable energy and no new power plants that run on fossil fuels among other smart initiatives. If you read the IPCC report you realize that these actions are essential for a sustainable future for our children.

Last year the New York Legislature passed very few climate bills. Now with a solid package of smart bills we look forward to robust climate action. We all need to call on our legislators to pass these climate bills for a cleaner and safer New York. Kelles’ suggestion for $15 billion for climate funding is spot on!

Sally Courtright

Albany, NY