New York voters have approved the “Green” or “Environmental Rights” Amendment to the state’s constitution, which provides that “[e]ach person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.” In a victory for ESG activists, New York voters approved the “Green Amendment,” also known as the “Environmental Rights Amendment,” to the state’s constitution. New York thus joins the ranks of Pennsylvania, Montana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Rhode Island, which provide some form of constitutional right to, or protection for, a healthy environment.

Like those afforded by the constitutions of Pennsylvania, Montana, and Rhode Island, New York’s right to a healthful environment sits in the state’s Bill of Rights. As a result of this amendment, lawmakers will be obligated to “consider the impact on clean water, clean air, and the environment when making decisions.” This briefing by Clifford Chance explains the amendment, its application and its implications.

Download the briefing here