Groundbreaking New York Climate Bill Passes SenateThe New York Tropical Deforestation-Free Procurement Act Will End New York State Funding of Climate Destruction, Tropical Deforestation
ALBANY, NY – The New York Tropical Deforestation-Free Procurement Act (S.4859/A.5682) passed in the New York State Senate today as part of a package of environmental bills and will next head to the State Assembly. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Liz Krueger (D-28) and Asm. Kenneth Zebrowski (D-96), builds on New York’s climate and justice leadership and is based on the state’s decades-long success of implementing common-sense procurement reforms. The legislation ensures that state and local government procurement does not fund climate destruction, specifically tropical deforestation, tropical primary forest degradation and associated abuses of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local tropical communities.
“The days are long past when New Yorkers can pretend that what goes on in another part of the world has no impact on us,” said Senator Liz Krueger. “The Tropical Deforestation-Free Procurement Act will ensure that New York’s taxpayer dollars are not driving the tropical deforestation that contributes to the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, and the plundering of Indigenous lands across the globe. It puts New York at the forefront of a global movement to end humanity’s self-destructive level of deforestation. At the same time, we can give New York businesses a leg up on the competition by helping them clean up their supply chains. It’s a win-win-win for people, planet, and New York’s economy.”
“Deforestation is not just killing trees and animals. It is also taking away Indigenous Peoples’ land, destroying livelihoods and taking lives,” said Rukka Sombolinggi, secretary general of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (Indonesia), the world’s largest Indigenous Peoples organization. “We need Northern governments to take actions like the New York State Senate is taking, to respect our rights and end support for deforestation.”
“New Yorkers are threatened by deadly heat waves, life-threatening storms, and severe statewide economic climate impacts driven by climate change. Making matters worse is the horrifying reality that Black people, people of color, low-income people, and Indigenous people — living both in New York and across the world — are the most impacted by these crises,” said Marcus Sibley, Northeast director of conservation partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation. “Passing this bill to end New York’s funding of climate destruction is a huge victory for New York and the world. We applaud Senator Krueger, who has been tireless in her leadership on climate. The New York Tropical Deforestation-Free Procurement Act protects New Yorkers and expands justice.”
“We thank Senator Krueger and the New York Senate for taking this important step toward climate justice,” said Jeff Conant, International Forest Program Manager, Friends of the Earth. “While it is absurd that the commodities purchased by New York State with taxpayer dollars are exacerbating our planetary crises, it is refreshing to see our public officials take meaningful action to address the problem. When it becomes law, this bill will break new ground by ensuring that the state’s purchasing protects the world’s tropical forests, rather than destroying them through reckless consumption. What is especially promising is how this bill directly addresses the human rights violations that flow from the production of tropical lumber, cattle, soy, palm oil, and chocolate, making New York a real leader in halting this cycle of violence and injustice.”
- Requires state contractors who deal in tropical forest-risk commodities to certify that their products don’t drive tropical deforestation or degradation or abuses of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, by providing data to the state and the public demonstrating supply chain due diligence to their products’ points of origin.
- Closes loopholes in existing 30-year-old state law banning the use of tropical hardwoods for government projects.
- Provides a bidding preference for small and medium-sized businesses, minority-and-women-owned businesses, and businesses fulfilling state contracts using New York products.
- Creates a supply chain transparency assistance program to support New York-based small and medium-sized businesses and women and minority-owned enterprises to achieve ethical and sustainable supply chains for forest-risk products. This program will be administered by Empire State Development.
- Requires a minimum of two representatives from indigenous tropical communities within the geographic areas to be part of a Stakeholder Advisory Group.
- Defines “tropical forest-risk commodities” to include soy, beef, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, wood pulp, paper and wood products. Other commodities may be added by the Commissioner of the Office of General Services.
Communications contact: Brittany Miller, [email protected], (202) 222-0746