Comment on City of Kingston's Draft Climate Action Plan

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clouds_300From Julie L. Noble, City of Knigston Parks and Recreation:

The Kingston Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) and the Kingston Climate Smart and Green Jobs Community Task Force today announced the release of the draft City of Kingston Climate Action Plan (CAP). The Kingston CAC has also launched its new web site today. 

 The draft CAP was prepared with grant funding received through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Using the NYSERDA funding, over the past year the City of Kingston was able conduct a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and develop this draft Plan.

This draft CAP includes recommendations for comprehensive policies and programs that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance operational and energy efficiencies, reduce energy costs, support local job growth, and adapt to a changing climate while improving quality of life, saving taxpayer dollars, and promoting social justice.

With release of this Draft Plan, the Climate Smart and Green Jobs Community Task Force is seeking additional stakeholder input on the initial climate action planning work that has been done over the past year.

“Public input and support is critical to moving this draft action plan to the next level” stated said Julie Noble, Chair of the CAC.  “Once vetted with the community, the next step is to have the City of Kingston Common Council adopt a resolution that supports and formally recognizes the goals and initiatives of the Plan as City of Kingston policy and intent.”

Mayor Gallo praised the efforts of the CAC and the Task Force. “It is my hope that as part of our effort to improve the quality of life in the City of Kingston and continue to grow as a sustainable community, that you join me in the active participation of the endeavors set forth in this plan.” 

Tom Hoffay, City Alderman from the Second Ward, applauded the release of the draft Plan,  “I am very supportive of this initiative as Kingston continues its leadership in addressing the local impacts of climate change.” Mr. Hoffay continued “By investing in climate action planning we can help reduce the City’s impact on the environment and save taxpayer dollars.”

The draft Plan is available on the new CAC web site and the Kingston City web site.

Plan comments are due by June 30, 2012. Comments can be made on line. Printed copies of the plan will be made available at the City Clerk’s office, the Kingston Library, Kingston Parks and Recreation Department, Hudson Coffee Traders and Monkey Joe Roasting Co.

A public meeting to discuss the findings of the Plan will be held as part of the monthly CAC meeting on Thursday June 7, 2012 at 7pm in City Hall.

In October 2009 the City of Kingston adopted ‘The Kingston Climate Smart and Green Jobs Pledge’ outlining the process for performing a comprehensive review of its greenhouse gas emissions and strategies to reduce GHGs in a Climate Action Plan. This resolution followed guidelines developed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and (NYSERDA) Climate Smart Communities program along with the “Local Government Green Jobs Pledge” sponsored by ICLEI. This pledge outlines a series of ten steps the City will strive to undertake to combat climate change. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other gases released to the atmosphere primarily through the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas).

The City of Kingston also participated in a NYSERDA Energy Study in 2007 which resulted in a series of energy efficiency improvements including lighting retrofits, HVAC and building envelope improvements in several of city buildings.