Cazenovia working to become ‘Climate Smart’
The town and village of Cazenovia are both regional leaders in the fight against climate change.
As registered Climate Smart Communities (CSC), the municipalities are part of a network of over 250 communities committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving climate resilience.
Run by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the CSC program helps communities take steps to increase energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions, save taxpayers money and promote renewable energy and a green economy.
Any New York State city, town, village or county can commit to building a resilient, low-emission future by adopting the CSC pledge.
To become a registered CSC, a local government must pass a formal municipal resolution adopting the 10-point pledge. The “pledge elements” are as follows:
Build a climate-smart community.
Inventory emissions, set goals, and plan for climate action.
Decrease energy use.
Shift to clean, renewable energy.
Use climate-smart materials management.
Implement climate-smart land use.
Enhance community resilience to climate change.
Support a green innovation economy.
Inform and inspire the public.
Engage in an evolving process of climate action.
The Cazenovia Town Board adopted the CSC pledge in 2009; the Village of Cazenovia Board of Trustees followed suit in 2014.
Since passing their pledges, the town and village have made considerable efforts to become “climate smart.”
In 2013, the town worked with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) to perform a GHG assessment to establish a baseline for emissions and identify key areas for improvement. The village compiled its own Greenhouse Gas Inventory report in 2014.
That same year, the town and village partnered with CNY RPDB to develop the Cazenovia Climate Action Plan, which was adopted in 2015.
The report serves as a guide for Cazenovia officials and residents on the best approaches to mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Since the plan’s adoption, the town has proposed and implemented a number of climate actions, including a micro-hydro project and LED lighting project in New Woodstock, a highway garage insulation project and town vehicle efficiency upgrades.
Upcoming actions include a Gothic Cottage energy efficiency improvement project and a community solar project at the town highway garage.
The village is currently working on two major initiatives: a solar array installation project at the Village Water Treatment Plant site and an LED street light conversion project.
In an effort to gain support and funding for additional sustainable development projects, the town and village are investigating the CSC Certification process.
Registered Climate Smart Communities are eligible for additional recognition through the CSC Certification Program — an initiative that acknowledges New York’s foremost leaders in local climate action through a rating system leading to three certification levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Communities can earn points toward certification through the completion of various actions related to climate change.
Madison County is the first municipality in CNY to become a Certified Bronze CSC.
Established in 2016, the CSC Grant Program provides funding to municipalities seeking certification.