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Collaboration towards Climate Action in Central New York

March 4th, 2014  |  Published in Challenge News, FEATURED ACTIONS, Municipal

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SUNY ESF students, CNY RPDB staff, and Town of Cazenovia community members meet to discuss emissions reduction strategies for Town’s Climate Action Plan

As part of the Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program (C2IP), the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) has once again partnered with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) this spring to undertake two community greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories and two community climate action plans (CAPs).  The partnership is providing support for the climate action activities of the following communities: the City of Oneida, the Town of Cazenovia, the Village of Cazenovia, and the Village of Fayetteville.

The partnership between the CNY RPDB and SUNY-ESF began in 2011 when an Energy Audit course offered by Dr. Richard Smardon conducted an analysis of the City of Syracuse carbon footprint. Undergraduate and graduate class members from this year’s course have formed teams to work with the local municipalities to assess GHG emissions and analyze potential emission reduction strategies. The partnership will utilize ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability guidance and tools to conduct assessments of municipal energy use and associated GHG emissions for the GHG inventory projects. Additionally, the partnership will evaluate the energy savings, return on investment, and GHG savings of various emission reduction strategies undertaken or proposed for municipalities developing climate action plans.

The student teams will focus on initial inventory and analysis, as well as provide their creative insights for potential projects and strategies. The students will also participate in community meetings and assist with outreach. Participation enables municipalities to expedite the completion of the initial assessment and planning requirements associated with climate action while also providing students with hands-on, practical skills in community sustainability planning. The CNY RPDB will act as a liaison between the communities and students; as well as provide oversight of final products and community engagement.  The C2IP initiative continues to develop capacity at the local level in Central New York for communities involved in climate action.

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