Counties Celebrate Climate Week
Counties recognized the continued leadership of local governments.
As part of the celebration of Climate Week, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) today recognized the continued leadership of county governments that have been enacting local laws, adopting energy-saving initiatives, taking steps toward climate resiliency, and developing programs for supporting more resilient communities.
Over the last year, counties have made real and tangible progress in moving toward clean energy sources and reducing their carbon footprint, including:
- Ulster County became the third county and one of only seven communities in the state to be recognized as a Silver Certified Climate Smart Community. It joins Tompkins and Suffolk County in that status.
- Westchester County became the ninth county to be recognized as a Bronze Certified Climate Smart Community, joining Broome, Dutchess, Erie, Madison, Orange, Schenectady, Sullivan, and Warren counties.
- Westchester and Suffolk counties launched an innovative joint purchasing collaboration to procure electric vehicles (EVs) for their county fleets.
- Ulster County continued to implement its Green New Deal to accelerate the transition to clean energy, build an equitable green economy, conserve natural resources, and harden building resiliency.
- Erie County started to recruit Climate Action Ambassadors to encourage residents to have conversations and share input on how the community can be healthy, sustainable, and resilient.
“Real and lasting change happens from the grass roots up, and that's why it's so important for counties to be leaders in the fight against climate change,” said Ulster County Executive and Chair of the NYSAC Climate Resiliency Committee.“By acting locally, we can build a sustained movement that leads the nation in transitioning to the zero emission vehicles, high efficiency buildings and renewable energy sources that will not only protect our planet for future generations but also create new jobs right here in our communities.”
Climate change and green energy were major topics at the Association's recent Fall Seminar conference. The conference featured a plenary presentation from NASA Oceanographer Bridget Seegers on Understanding Our Environment by Studying Earth From Space, as well as workshops on preparing for the vehicle electrification world, transforming New York's recycling program through product stewardship legislation, smart approaches to renewable energy siting, and an update on New York State's Climate Act.
Additionally, NYSAC's Climate Resiliency Committee met to discuss climate issues facing counties and elect Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan as the new chair of the NYSAC Climate Resiliency Committee. He takes over for Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson, who is retiring from county government after 20 years of service.
“All around us, we're seeing the effects of a changing planet, and those effects have consequences for local governments,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario. “Whether we are responding to severe weather emergencies, administering recycling programs, improving energy efficiency in county buildings or electrifying county vehicle fleets, counties are on the front lines of the fight against climate change.”
Media Contact: Mark LaVigne | MLavigne@nysac.org | 518-465-1473 x206