Counties Continue to Lead Local Climate Action

NYSAC today recognized the continued leadership of governments who have been working toward climate resiliency and collaborating to develop programs for supporting more resilient communities. 

As part of the celebration of Climate Week, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) today recognized the continued leadership of governments who have been enacting local laws, adopting energy-saving initiatives, taking steps toward climate resiliency, and collaborating to develop programs for supporting more resilient communities. 
The Association also held a virtual workshop yesterday as part of its 2020 Virtual Fall Seminar addressing issues of climate change and clean energy. The workshop, titled Meeting New York State's Climate and Renewable Energy Goals, discussed New York's landmark Climate Act that committed to the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction and renewable energy targets in the nation. To see a recording of the webinar, click here.
“Some people worry that addressing the climate crisis has to wait until the COVID-19 crisis is behind us,” said Tompkins County Legislator and NYSAC Climate Resiliency Committee Chair Martha Robertson. “Counties have figured out that our economic recovery will be faster if we move forward with investments in renewable energy, efficiency measures, and resiliency. Partnering with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), we are creating jobs for New Yorkers, while helping residents and businesses save money.”
Through programs such as NYSDEC's Climate Smart Communities and NYSERDA's Clean Energy Communities, counties are acting to both mitigate their environmental impact and save taxpayer dollars in the process. They will also be key partners with the state in the implementing the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
County Climate Action: By the Numbers
  • 26 counties are registered NYSDEC Climate Smart Communitiesan increase of 6 over last year
  • Eight counties (Broome, Dutchess, Erie, Madison, Orange, Schenectady, Sullivan, Schenectady, Warren) are bronze certified, an increase of five over last year.
  • Three counties (Suffolk, Tompkins, Ulster) are silver certified, an increase of one over last year.
  • 35 counties are designated or participating NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities.
  • Counties have completed 117 high impact actions” through the CEC program, including clean energy upgrades, installing electric vehicle charging stations or deploying alternative fuel vehicles, and streamlining the approvals process for solar projects.
  • To date, over 400 actions have been completed and approved through CSC & CEC
  • At least 26 counties have adopted a policy to report the energy use of buildings 
  • At least 24 counties have installed electric vehicle charging stations or deployed alternative fuel vehicles, an increase of 7 over last year
  • At least 20 counties have participated in Solarize, Clean Heating and Cooling, or the Solar for All campaigns to increase access to clean energy, an increase of 3 over last year
  • At least 18 counties have offered energy upgrade financing to businesses and non-profits
Learn more about these Clean Energy Communities High Impact Actions here.
“Governor Cuomo has established New York State as a national leader and the counties across our state are taking up the mantle investing in hundreds of initiatives to combat climate change and promote more climate resilient communities. By thinking globally and acting locally, New York's counties are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a greener, cleaner state for all. It is the right thing to do for our environment and for our future,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.