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Posted on: November 1, 2021

Town Achieves Bronze Level Certification in NYS Climate Smart Communities Program

Climate Smart logo colorClimate Smart Bronze Certification logo

The Town of Poughkeepsie proudly announces that it is now a certified Climate Smart Community. The New York State Climate Smart Communities certification program recognizes the accomplishments of local governments that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and responding to climate change impacts, such as flooding and extreme heat.  Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County provided guidance and technical assistance to the Town in preparing its certification submission. 

This news was included in Governor Kathy Hochul’s 9/25/21 announcement of newly certified communities. 

New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipal efforts to address the many challenges posed by a changing climate. Local governments join the voluntary program by passing a resolution adopting the CSC pledge. The CSC pledge includes a commitment to decrease energy use, shift to renewable energy sources, take additional steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance community resilience. The Town of Poughkeepsie adopted the the CSC pledge in 2018. There are currently 345 registered Climate Smart Communities, of which 81 have achieved Bronze (initial) or Silver certification. With a program designed around ten pledge elements, communities can choose from a menu of over 100 actions for addressing emissions, land use, waste management, energy conservation and clean energy, as well as climate adaptation and public education.  Each action completed earns points, and actions must be documented and meet criteria for each level.  Submission undergoes a rigorous review process. 

Detailed information about the Town’s accomplishments is available on the Climate Smart Task Force web page

Communities that implement certification actions receive many benefits, including energy independence and improved air quality from switching to clean renewables, cost savings through greater energy efficiency, and reduction of risks related to flooding and other climate-related hazards. Some additional benefits of CSC certification include streamlined access to resources, training, tools and expert guidance; opportunities for networking and sharing best practices with peers; and better scores on grant applications for some state funding programs. Certified Climate Smart Communities are recognized as New York’s leaders in local climate action.  

Cornell Cooperative Extension provides assistance to communities through its membership in the Climate Resilience Partnership, a collaboration between Cornell Cooperative Extension associations in the Hudson Valley, with financial and technical support from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program and the New York State Water Resources Institute. The partnership aims to build long-term resilience to extreme weather and climate change in the Hudson River Estuary watershed and provides resources to local communities pursuing climate change adaptation efforts and assistance to municipalities with CSC certification. 

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