The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Program is one of the High Impact Actions under the CEC Program that local governments can pursue to save money, foster a vibrant economy, improve the environment, and demonstrate clean energy leadership.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories and climate action plans are part of Pledge Element 2 under the CSC Program, and are key to establishing baselines and setting achievable goals.
The Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC), with the support of Climate Action Associates (CAA), has begun facilitating a Climate Action Planning working group which consists of a series of 10 monthly meetings. This project is intended for communities in Ulster County that have taken the Climate Smart Communities Pledge and have appointed their CSC Coordinator(s).
Additionally, communities that also have CSC Task Forces in place and have identified a Liaison between the local government and the Task Force, will have the greatest opportunity for success, as there is a significant amount of information-gathering and coordination that will need to occur at the local level throughout this project.
The series is designed to run in parallel with local planning efforts led by participants. The working group receives guidance via the monthly sessions and then directly engage their stakeholders. Participants have begun the process of gathering all of the energy billing data for their municipalities to conduct their own GHG emissions inventories and develop emissions reduction targets and climate action plans from these.
By working together as a team, each community can learn from one another, share strategies, and help troubleshoot issues. At the end of the process, communities will have GHG inventories, emissions reduction targets, and draft climate action plans that they can use to fulfill the Climate Smart Communities Program Pledge Element 2 actions.
Communities that participate in this project will have completed approximately one-third to one-half of the points needed to achieve Climate Smart Communities Certification. Participants can also potentially use the government energy usage data they have collected towards the Benchmarking and Clean Energy Upgrades High Impact Actions under the Clean Energy Communities Program.
For more information, contact Europa McGovern at firstname.lastname@example.org.