(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Earlier this week, the Board of Legislators voted to make Westchester the latest community to become a New York Climate Smart Community. The resolution, introduced by Legislator Catherine Parker, aims to find energy efficiencies and cost savings available to municipalities and promote economic growth in the expanding green technology field.

Formally adopting the Climate Smart Communities Pledge initiates a community's commitment to GHG emission reduction and climate adaptation. The Climate Smart Communities Pledge includes all the elements of a successful local climate program. By reducing GHG emissions and preparing for a changing climate, local climate programs protect public health and safety, and support a secure economic future.

“Reducing energy costs and improving operation efficiency will save taxpayer dollars for many years after the initial cost is paid,” Parker explained. “Climate smart land use practices, like the ones prescribed in this resolution, can also lower the cost of infrastructure and public services.”

Providers of "green" (energy efficiency and renewable energy) products and services -- and the workers who install and maintain these products -- will benefit as communities increase efficiency and adopt clean technologies.

Parker added, “Green technologies generate more jobs per dollar than conventional fuel technologies, and these dollars are more likely to be retained in the local economy.”

According to the American Solar Energy Society, the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors have the potential to generate up to 37 million jobs by 2030 - more
than 17 percent of all anticipated employment in the nation.   

The Climate Smart Pledge is comprised of the following 10 elements:

  • Pledge to be a Climate Smart Community
  • Set goals, inventory emissions, plan for climate action
  • Decrease community energy use
  • Increase community use of renewable energy
  • Realize benefits of recycling and other climate-smart solid waste management practices
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through use of climate-smart land use tools
  • Enhance community resilience and prepare for the effects of climate change
  • Support development of a green innovation economy
  • Inform and inspire the public
  • Commit to an evolving process of climate action

Many Westchester municipalities have already taken the pledge including: City of New Rochelle; City of Peekskill; City of Rye; City of White Plains; City of Yonkers; Town of Bedford; Town of Cortlandt; Town of Greenburgh; Town of Lewisboro; Town of Mamaroneck; Town of New Castle; Town of North Castle; Town of North Salem; Town of Ossining; Town of Pound Ridge; Town of Somers; Town of Yorktown; Village of Ardsley; Village of Dobbs Ferry; Village of Croton-on-Hudson; Village of Hastings-on-Hudson; Village of Irvington; Village of Larchmont; Village of Mamaroneck; Village of Mount Kisco; Village of Ossining; Village of Port Chester; Village of Tarrytown; Village of Sleepy Hollow