NYS Climate Action Council Draft Scoping Plan – Bob Howarth
Bob Howarth, the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology at Cornell, is a member of the Climate Action Council, which has been charged with developing a scoping plan to achieve New York State’s ambitious clean energy and climate agenda. Bob provided an update to the group in June and, as the CAC’s work on a draft plan wraps up, returned to report on what it will include. Beginning in January, there will be a 12-month comment period with public meetings held around the state.
NYS Agriculture, Forestry, and Climate Action – Suzanne Hunt
Suzanne Hunt is policy director at Generate Capital, the nation’s leading green infrastructure investment firm in San Francisco. Suzanne is based at her family’s farm and winery Hunt Country Vineyards in the Finger Lakes, and she serves on the NYS Agriculture and Forestry Advisory Panel, which has submitted its recommendations to the Climate Action Council.
INHS and Affordable Green Housing – Johanna Anderson and Lynn Truame
As part of our continuing conversation on affordable green housing, Johanna Anderson, executive director of Ithaca Neighborhood Housing, and Lynn Truame, senior real estate developer at INHS, provided an overview of the nonprofit’s recent work for low- and moderate-income residents.
Cryptomining in New York State – Anna Kelles
Assemblymember Anna Kelles (D-125) discussed the introduction of cryptocurrency mining in New York, its environmental impact, and her push for a moratorium on proof-of-work cryptomining. Her bill (A7389) has attracted broad support from environmental organizations in the state.
Ithaca Green New Deal Scorecard – Tom Hirasuna and Diane Stefani
Tom and Diane from Climate Reality have been working on developing an Ithaca Green New Deal scorecard similar to the one presented at the March TCCPI meeting for tracking progress with the Biden Administration’s climate proposals. Tom and Diane have discussed the scorecard concept with Luis Aguirre-Torres, the City Sustainability Director, and wanted to get feedback from the TCCPI group before they get too far along in putting the IGND scorecard together.
1000 Conversations About Our Future – All
Imagine it’s 2035...Over the past 15 years, we've created a better place to live.
...does it look like, what’s happening?
...did we accomplish?
...was the most inspiring part of the process?
...are you most proud of?
...was the moment that changed everything?
...role did you play?
Based on the vision you shared,
What is your next step toward achieving that vision?
What is something new you can contribute toward that vision?
Peter encouraged everyone to watch the conversation between Luis and Terry Carroll, the new chief sustainability officer for Tompkins County, that took place recently on YouTube as part of the 1000 Conversations series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B7D9bZevtM&ab_channel=1000ConversationsAboutOurFuture
Earth Source Heat Project – Ole Gustafson and Terry Jordan
Ole Gustafson, a geologist in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department, and Terry Jordan, J. Preston Levis Professor of Engineering in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department, provided the group with an update on the Earth Source Heat project, which recently received a $7.2 million research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Sarah Carson Zemanick:
Teresa “Terry” Jordan:
Climate Change in the News – Peter Bardaglio
If it’s August, then it must be time for a review of the year’s climate change developments. Extreme weather events have brought climate change into the mainstream of media coverage this year and there’s a growing sense that we’re now deep into a climate crisis.
A Nationwide Carbon Capture Pipeline? – Sandra Steingraber
The concept of a carbon capture pipeline – possibly bigger than the entire oil pipeline system – is getting significant traction in the fossil fuel industry, AFL-CIO, and U.S. Department of Energy. Sandra Steingraber, Senior Scientist at the Science and Environmental Health Network as well as co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Ithaca College from 2003 to 2021, provided an overview of the emerging proposal and the risks it poses.
1000 Conversations About Our Future – Anne Rhodes
Longtime activist Anne Rhodes, a member of the Ithaca Green New Deal advisory group, briefed us on the 1000 Conversations About Our Future initiative, its role in the Ithaca Green New Deal effort, and how TCCPI and others can participate.
The Climate Action Council – Bob Howarth
Bob Howarth, the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology at Cornell, is a member of the Climate Action Council, which has been charged with developing a scoping plan to achieve New York State’s ambitious clean energy and climate agenda. The 22-member committee was created by the passage of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act in 2019 and it has been meeting regularly over the past 16 months of its existence. The Council is expected to release its plan this fall, and Bob provided us with an update on its progress and what we can expect to see when the plan is made public.
Group #1 – Linda Willis, Nick Goldsmith, Terry Carroll
Group #2 – Dan Lamb, Janice Whitney, Irene Weiser, David Kay
Group #3 – Bob Howarth, Mike Straight, Brian Eden, Peter Bardaglio
Finger Lakes Energy Compact – Luis Aguirre Torres, City Sustainability Director
Going Net-Zero with Multi-Residential Affordable Housing – David Shepler and Guy Kempe
This month’s meeting focused on the topic of net-zero, affordable, multi-residential buildings. David Shepler of Net-Zero Development, LLC and Guy Kempe of RUPCO, a nonprofit provider of and advocate for quality, affordable housing and community development programs in the Hudson River Valley, presented on two outstanding examples of what is possible, the Energy Square in Kingston and the Zero Place in New Paltz.
Discussion Group #1
What did we learn?
What resources can be brought to bear?
Discussion Group #2
Discussion Group #3
Introducing the New City of Ithaca Sustainability Director: Luis Aguirre-Torres
Following a national search, Luis was appointed to fill the new position of Sustainability Director for the City of Ithaca. He joined the Department of Planning in late March and has quickly taken up leadership of the City’s Ithaca Green New Deal. Luis has more than 15 years of domestic and international experience working with government, non-profit, and business sectors in green technology, policy development and implementation, emissions reduction, and green entrepreneurship. He received two commendations from President Barack Obama for his work in Latin American and sustainable innovation, and he served as White House Fellow in 2016 focusing on climate change.
Energy Warriors – Aloja Airewele
Aloja is the program leader of the Energy Warriors and staff member at Cornell Cooperative Extension–Tompkins County. He discussed the development of the Energy Warriors program, which introduces youth to green career training, work readiness, and life skills development.
The Climate Reality Project Scorecard – Diane Stefani
Diane Stefani and two other members of the Federal Policy Working Group, a sub-team of The Climate Reality Project, Capital Region, NY chapter, shared a climate action scorecard they have developed to track the Biden Administration’s progress on its initial climate commitments.
Updates and Announcements
What’s the latest on climate efforts in the community?
Ithaca Energy Code Supplement – Discussion
The Common Council has begun its deliberations on the Ithaca Energy Code Supplement (IECS) regarding new buildings. The Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee undertook a review at its recent monthly meeting and will again take up the IECS – also under review by the Town of Ithaca – at its March meeting. A number of issues have emerged, including calls for strengthening the IECS and accelerating its targets, and we explored these at our meeting.
“Our Future, Our Choice”: Climate Change at PRI – Ingrid Zabel
The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) has just opened a permanent exhibit on climate change at the Museum of the Earth as well as an online version. Ingrid Zabel, climate change education manager at PRI, introduced us to the exhibit and its related resources, and provide an update on the New York Climate Change Science Clearinghouse, which she oversees.
Overview of Community Choice Aggregation – Terry Carroll
Terry is an energy educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and coordinator of the Clean Energy Communities program in the Southern Tier. He provided a brief overview of community choice aggregation (CCA) and update on the CCA discussions taking place on the Energy Committee of the Tompkins County Council of Governments (TCCOG).
Community Energy as a Shared Municipal Service – David Gower
Like Terry, David has been participating in the TCCOG Energy Committee discussions on CCA. He has 10 years of experience in the clean energy space and has been actively involved locally in organizations such as the Green Resource Hub, Sustainable Enterprise and Entrepreneur Network, Southern Tier Energy Network, and Fossil Free Tompkins. David discussed his vision of community energy as a shared municipal service. In doing so, he addressed the following questions:
How feasible does CCA as a shared municipal service seem? What do you see as the main opportunities? What do you see as the biggest challenges?
TCCPI Issues & Topics for 2021 – All
Thoughts about what issues and topics participants would like to see TCCPI focus on in 2021?
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