State Recognizes Peekskill and Tarrytown Among Certified Climate Smart Communities

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the latest round of communities to achieve certification as part of New York State’s Climate Smart Communities program, which supports local efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change. The Village of Hastings-on-Hudson was one of only two communities recertified silver while the City of Peekskill and the Village of Tarrytown were among only four Westchester communities to receive bronze certificates. The announcement signifies meaningful steps being taken by 23 local governments to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The nearly two dozen municipalities successfully met the criteria to be certified in the 2023 third quarter review, the largest number of certified communities from any one round in the program’s history. Included in this round of certification awards are four communities that have continued their commitment to local climate action and re-certified by completing additional actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

“New York State applauds the work of local communities facing the climate crisis head on through the implementation of policies and plans that benefit local residents, create green jobs, and help build a stronger, more resilient Empire State,” Governor Hochul said. “It is crucial to do everything we can to combat climate change, and I thank my partners not only in the state, but in our neighborhoods for making these smart communities a reality. For our children, we must leave the earth better than it was when we inherited it, and with work like this we certainly are.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “If anything, these past few days have shown us that climate change is real and impacting us here and now. I am proud to see the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson and Town of Mamaroneck’s successful recertification, and I commend the City of New Rochelle, City of Peekskill and Village of Tarrytown for their dedication to mitigating and adapting to climate change. This recognition is not only a milestone in our collective efforts but also a clear indication that we are taking strides towards a more sustainable and resilient future.”

To achieve Climate Smart Community certification, local governments accumulate points for planning and implementation actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve community resilience to the worsening impacts of climate change. Recently, 21 communities successfully met the criteria to be newly recognized or re-certified as leaders at the bronze level. Additionally, two municipalities were recertified silver, the highest level of achievement available.

Silver Certified Climate Smart Communities

Established in 2016, this 50/50 matching grant program supports municipalities in completing certification actions and implementing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Hastings-on-Hudson received ZEV Program awards in 2022, 2021, 2019, and 2017 totaling $43,500. For more information, see the village’s 2022 progress report.

Bronze Certified Climate Smart Communities

New and recertified bronze Climate Smart Communities include the following:

Hudson Valley

  • City of Peekskill (Westchester County)
  • Village of Tarrytown (Westchester County)
  • Town of Mamaroneck (Westchester County) – recertified
  • City of New Rochelle (Westchester County)
  • Town of Olive (Ulster County)
  • Town of Rhinebeck (Dutchess County)
  • Town of Rosendale (Ulster County)
  • Town of Shandaken (Ulster County)

Capital Region

  • Village of Catskill (Greene)

Long Island

  • Town of Babylon (Suffolk County)
  • Town of North Hempstead (Nassau County)

Finger Lakes

  • Town of Irondequoit (Monroe County)
  • Town of Lodi (Seneca County)

North Country

  • City of Plattsburgh (Clinton County)
  • Lewis County

Southern Tier

  • City of Binghamton (Broome County)
  • Town of Hector (Schuyler County)
  • Village of Montour Falls (Schuyler County) – recertified

Western New York

  • Town of Aurora (Erie County)
  • Village of Hamburg (Erie County)
  • Village of Williamsville (Erie County)

For a full list of actions completed by these and the other certified Climate Smart Communities, view their online certification reports found at the Climate Smart Communities website.

Twenty of the certified communities are also designated NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities, while the remaining three are participating communities in the program. Local governments in New York State can use the Clean Energy Communities program to implement clean energy actions, save energy costs, create jobs, and improve the environment. In addition to providing tools, resources, and technical assistance, the program recognizes and rewards leadership for the completion of clean energy projects.

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, 392 local governments representing more than 9.4 million New Yorkers adopted the Climate Smart Communities pledge.

The certification program was launched in 2014 to document and celebrate the accomplishments of communities taking climate action. Each certification is valid for five years. There are now 137 total certified Climate Smart Communities in New York State, 10 silver and 127 bronze. To be certified, communities must demonstrate an active climate change task force that includes residents and municipal representatives. Most certified communities complete greenhouse gas inventories that calculate emissions at the local level and help local leaders identify how best to help New York State meet its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction mandates.

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