First Communities in the Southern Tier to Be Certified
Tompkins County and the Town of Ithaca have been commended by New York State for their strides combating climate change. Recently, the county and town were the first communities in the Southern Tier to be named Certified Climate Smart Communities.
An an event Tuesday at the Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste Center in Ithaca, Department of Environmental Conservation Region 7 Director Matthew Marko congratulated the county and Town of Ithaca for addressing and preparing for climate change.
"Now more than ever it is important that states and local communities stand up to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening our resiliency to extreme weather events," Marko said. "Without federal leadership, it's up to leaders like Governor Cuomo and New York's ambitious clean energy standard, and communities like yours to do what's necessary."
"Tompkins County appreciates the recognition this Climate Smart Community certification provides for our ongoing efforts to lead by example in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while enhancing our community's resilience to the effects of climate change," said Tompkins County Legislature Chair Michael Lane. "It is vital for local communities to reduce emissions and energy use while preparing for climate change impacts."
Between 2008 and 2014, Tompkins County reduced greenhouse gas emissions of county operations by 53 percent and reduced community greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent. Those reductions put the community and county government ahead of its target goal of a 20 percent reduction by 2020.
By 2050, Tompkins County aims to have at least an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 levels.
The Climate Smart Communities program was initiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014.To become certified as a Climate Smart Community, local governments must take a number of actions laid out by the DEC, such as developing a government operations and community greenhouse gas emissions inventory, establishing reduction targets and conducting energy audits of local government buildings.