ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced on Thursday the latest round of communities to be certified as part of New York’s Climate Smart Communities program. This program supports local efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change.
By taking “meaningful steps” to adapt to climate change, DEC says three local governments successfully met criteria for certification. The Towns of New Lebanon and Philipstown and the Village of Irvington all achieved bronze-level certification.
“New York State remains committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing clean energy sources, and building more resilient communities,” said Commissioner Seggos. “These newly certified Climate Smart Communities are models for municipalities across the state in terms of local climate leadership, meaningful actions to reduce pollution, and efforts to protect community assets from flooding and severe weather driven by climate change.”
The Town of New Lebanon in Columbia County completed 22 steps to achieve bronze-level certification. Those steps include a natural resources inventory and a climate vulnerability assessment focused on seasonal drought.
The New Lebanon Climate Smart Communities task force set up a “Free Store” at the Town Hall where residents can donate and receive clothing and other small items at no cost. The task force also created a local bicycle recycling program. Since June 2020, the program has refurbished 40 donated bikes and repaired 20 bikes for members of the community.
To date, 322 local governments have taken the Climate Smart Communities pledge. These communities represent more than 9.2 million New Yorkers.