NYS Legislature Passes the TREES Act

Posted on May 16, 2024

NYS Legislature Passes the TREES Act to Acclaim from NY Business Community

Businesses Across New York State Applaud the Passage of the Tropical Rainforest Economic & Environmental Sustainability (TREES) Act, which Now Heads Back to Governor Hochul’s Desk

Albany, Thursday, May 16, 2024 – Today, a nation-leading climate bill known as the Tropical Rainforest Economic & Environmental Sustainability (TREES) Act passed the state Senate after having passed the Assembly on Monday. The bill now heads to the governor's desk. A previous version of this bill passed both houses with bipartisan support last year but was vetoed by Governor Kathy Hochul in December. Sponsors amended the bill to address concerns raised by the governor, while retaining the bill’s original climate impact.


“The climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis are already affecting New Yorkers right here at home. That is why we have brought this bill back to the Legislature, which has once again overwhelmingly supported it. We have addressed the governor's concerns as they were expressed to us, and we are confident that the TREES Act can not only be successfully implemented, but will enhance New York's global role as an environmental leader, and boost New York businesses in the process. I hope that the governor, who this very day is speaking at the Vatican on the issue of climate leadership,” Senator Krueger added, “will see this bill for what it is: an achievable, affordable, and necessary piece of critical climate legislation."


"Today’s passage of the TREES Act in the Senate demonstrates another important step towards ensuring New York does not contribute to deforestation," said Assemblymember Zebrowski. "Our state has the opportunity to lead the way towards ending this destructive process. I’m proud to have worked with Senator Krueger on this important legislation, and I look forward to working with the governor to see it signed into law."


New York businesses have felt the impact of the climate crisis on our state economy. Businesses are damaged in storms. Infrastructure falters. Energy prices destabilize. Customers, clients, and workers face unsafe living conditions.  In 2023 alone, the crisis cost New York State over $2 billion in disaster cleanup. Fixing these problems requires deliberate action locally and globally to safeguard our economy and climate.


The TREES Act has a procurement reform focus and an economic development benefit.  It prevents the state of New York from purchasing products that contribute to tropical deforestation, a key driver of climate change.  It focuses on high-risk products including key agricultural products such as palm oil, timber, beef, pulp, paper, and cocoa. The bill also encourages state-based procurement, supports job creation, and provides new opportunities for New York’s small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and women-owned businesses. It includes a procurement pricing differential to favor New York businesses and a compliance assistance program that would better prepare our business community for international markets. These forward-thinking economic measures are widely supported by New York business leaders, who now look to Governor Hochul to sign the TREES Act into law without delay.


“It is great to see the leadership of the New York State Legislature once again setting an example for the rest of the country with their overwhelming passage of the TREES Act. This policy will demonstrate that a strong economy and good business practices can also provide environmental and health benefits for the state and beyond. We look forward to continuing to work with NY businesses and legislators to advance a more sustainable economy."

— David Levine, President & Cofounder, American Sustainable Business Council


"We applaud the New York Assembly and Senate for passing the TREES Act without delay. This nation-leading climate bill stands to strengthen New York's economy. By encouraging procurement from New York businesses, it supports these economic anchors and creates jobs across the state while keeping procurement dollars circulating through—rather than leaving—our state economy. This is a critical step towards localizing our economy and building resilience against international supply chain disruptions. We now look to Governor Hochul to sign the TREES Act and restore New York State as a climate leader."
— Bob Rossi, Executive Director, New York Sustainable Business Council


“We are thrilled to see swift passage of the TREES Act in the New York Legislature and now ask Governor Hochul to sign this essential climate bill into law. Kickstarter is a New York-based crowdfunding platform that 23 million people have used to pledge over $8 billion to fund more than 250,000 small businesses and creative projects. These projects increasingly have climate responsibility baked into their plans or even central to their very purpose. The new business community is already stepping up to protect our climate and safeguard the future of humanity. It is critical for our government to do the same.”
— Jon Leland, Chief Strategy Officer, Kickstarter


"We at Regional Access are heartened to see such leadership from our state legislature in passing the TREES Act, and we now ask Governor Hochul to sign this bill into law. Founded in 1989, we are a New York-based food distributor committed to sourcing regionally and supporting the development of local economies across New York State. By sourcing from New York first, our Government can support New York businesses and communities. To instead source in ways that encourage tropical deforestation is unconscionable."

— Dana Stafford, President, Regional Access


"We celebrate the leadership of the NY Assembly and Senate for their forward-thinking passage of the TREES Act. It was truly inspiring to witness the sponsors’  eloquent advocacy for a bill that promises to bolster New York’s economy by prioritizing local procurement. This legislation not only supports our homegrown businesses but also creates vital job opportunities, ensuring that our economic potential circulates within and enriches our state. As this bill now moves forward, we call on Governor Hochul to lend her crucial support, helping us localize our economy further and fortify it against global disruptions. Her endorsement is key to turning our aspirations for a resilient, self-sustaining New York into reality."

— Helen Nwosu, VP of Social Impact, Prose


“JSA ESG Impact is thrilled to see swift passage of the TREES Act in the New York Legislature, and we now ask Governor Hochul to sign this essential climate bill into law. We have strived for the past 36 years to protect the tropical rainforests worldwide by calling attention to destructive deforestation supported by so many banks & investment firms. It's imperative for NYS to step up to set an example to all its citizens and businesses that protection of our rainforests is crucial for biodiversity and is our responsibility.  We are excited to see the light through the forest by passage of the TREES Act.”  
— Jeffrey Scales, Founder, JSA ESG Impact


"Big shoutout to the NY Assembly and Senate for passing the TREES Act and especially to Assemblymember Zebrowski and Senator Krueger for their persistent leadership. This act aims at boosting New York's economy by supporting local content. It's a major move towards making our economy more local and resilient against global supply chain challenges.“

— Marjaneh Issapour, Founder & CEO, National Wind Services Corp


"As the CEO of a NY-based furniture supplier, I am beyond thankful that our state legislature has again passed the TREES Act to safeguard our state's future and the future of our communities and working families. If we don't act now, the issues and costs of the climate crisis will only worsen and if I know one thing about New York it's that we are all about solutions not problems! This is a profoundly important step towards New York leading the charge nationwide against climate change, and I'm proud to be a business owner that feels heard by our legislators."

— Whitney Frances Falk, Co-Founder & CEO, ZZ Driggs


"Captain Blankenship applauds the NY Assembly and Senate for passing the important TREES Act, and specifically Assemblymember Zebrowski and Senator Krueger for their passionate support of this bill. This is a huge win towards boosting the growth of New York's economy while preventing our state from contributing to tropical deforestation."

— Jana Blankenship, CEO, Captain Blankenship


"At Found and Fixed, we are thrilled to see the TREES Act pass in the New York State Legislature. This landmark legislation is a crucial step towards promoting sustainability and supporting local businesses in our community. We're deeply committed to environmental stewardship, especially in the realm of furniture production. With over 12.2 million tons of furniture waste generated annually in the United States alone, and a staggering 80.2% of it ending up in landfills, policies like the TREES Act are more important than ever. We demand the governor sign this important legislation to not only strengthen New York's economy and the global climate, but also underscore the urgency of addressing wood sourcing, furniture waste and promoting circular practices within our industry. This is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to create a greener, more sustainable future for generations to come."

— Susannah Bradley, Director of Finance, Found and Fixed



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