ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the latest round of communities to achieve certification as part of New York’s Climate Smart Communities program. This program supports locally led efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change.
By taking meaningful steps to mitigate and adapt to climate change, three local governments successfully met the criteria to be bronze-level certified as leaders during the second quarter round of review.
Capital District – Village of Athens and City of Schenectady
The village of Athens achieved the bronze level, in part by incorporating sustainability elements into its updated comprehensive plan. The village is particularly proud of how its climate change task force is building a stronger sense of community.
To reach the bronze level, the city of Schenectady earned points for installing LED streetlights and a 711 kW solar array. The city also developed an initial climate vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan.
Mid-Hudson – City of Hudson
The city of Hudson’s bronze certification is a reflection of its commitment to improving bicycle infrastructure and supporting the Empire State Trail, which goes through the city. In partnership with the local Cornell Cooperative Extension office, Hudson produced a flood guide and a road-stream crossing management plan.
The certification program was launched in 2014 to document and celebrate the accomplishments of communities taking climate action. There are now 70 certified Climate Smart Communities in New York State. To be certified, communities must demonstrate an active climate change task force that includes residents and municipal representatives. Most certified communities complete greenhouse gas inventories that calculate emissions at the local level and help local leaders identify how best to help New York State meet its ambitious greenhouse gas reductions.