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New York reaches climate smart communities milestone

  • / Updated:
  • Josh Durso 

New York has reached a new milestone with its Climate Smart Communities initiative.

More than 100 communities are now certified as Climate Smart Communities thanks to their work supporting local efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change.

“This Climate Week, we’re celebrating New York’s remarkable progress toward creating sustainable homes and building climate-smart communities statewide,” Governor Hochul said. “Thanks to initiatives like the Climate Smart Communities program and our Climate Friendly Homes Fund, communities across New York are taking action to protect the environment and tackling the climate crisis in their own backyards. My administration is fully committed to reducing the state’s climate impact, and we will continue to leverage key investments and resources to secure a safe and sustainable future for New Yorkers.”

100th Certified Climate Smart Community

Established in 2009, the interagency Climate Smart Communities program provides guidance and technical support to local governments to take locally driven climate action. The first step to becoming a Climate Smart Community is to register by pledging to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. To date, 364 local governments representing more than 9.4 million New Yorkers adopted the Climate Smart Communities pledge. A certification program was launched in 2014 to document and celebrate the accomplishments of communities taking climate action and the addition of 11 new communities in this latest round brings New York’s total number of certified Climate Smart Communities to 105 – nine silver and 96 bronze certified participating municipalities.

“This significant milestone of the Climate Smart Communities program demonstrates local governments’ commitment to enhancing the resilience of their communities and reducing risk and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Actions to reduce waste, save energy, and increase zero-emission transportation options are just some of the ways our local partners promote sustainability both within government and for residents to help reduce many of the contributing factors to climate change. DEC congratulates all of these 105 communities and looks forward to continuing to support these initiatives across the state,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Climate Action Council Co-Chair Basil Seggos said.

To achieve Climate Smart Community certification, communities accumulate points for planning and implementation actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve community resilience to the worsening impacts of climate change. Recently, 11 local governments successfully met the criteria to be newly recognized as leaders during the State’s third quarter round of review: