The town of Cortlandt and the village of Dobbs Ferry are among the first six municipalities in New York state to achieve certification in a new program designed to support municipal efforts to meet economic, social and environmental challenges posed by climate change.
The state's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Program will provide a means to recognize those communities that achieve success under their CSC pledge, a means to track and reward local actions, and a better defined framework for local climate action.
“Many communities across New York State have experienced the dramatic effects of climate change over the past few years, including severe weather and devastating floods,” NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said in a press release.
Cortlandt was recognized for its approach to climate change incorporating the principles of sustainability and resiliency into government operations and sharing services with surrounding communities to achieve regional goals. These strategies have helped the town achieve an 18-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities and a 23-percent reduction from town vehicles, state officials pointed out.
Cortland Supervisor Linda Puglisi said, “The Town of Cortland has a long -standing record of environmental stewardship exemplified by leadership in protecting open space, natural resources, and smart growth practices.”
Dobbs Ferry reduced greenhouse gas emissions from municipal facilities by 45 percent from 2007 to 2013, significantly exceeding its goal to reduce emissions from municipal operations by 20 percent by 2015. The village accomplished its reductions through initiatives that include installation of LED streetlights and solar arrays, energy-efficiency retrofits and energy-efficient new construction.
“Building and achieving a more sustainable New York can only be successful if we all, on the local, state and federal levels, work together to support goals that mitigate and protect against the impact of climate change,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “On this Earth Day, we are proud to be partnering with municipalities to do just that and I congratulate these six communities for demonstrating bold leadership by aggressively pursuing policies and actions to reduce their carbon footprint and address climate change at a very local level.”