GUEST COLUMN: Erie County Leads The Way In Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Modified: February 13, 2018 11:55am

Latest News

  • New pilot program will be first of its kind in NYS outside New York City

     

    Area restaurants will be added to senior dining program; allows participating seniors to choose a venue and meal each day

    October 17, 2018 1:51pm
  • Dual Port station at Chestnut Ridge will provide free electric car charging

    October 16, 2018 3:10pm
  • Plan is intended to establish a framework for preservation, enhancement of existing system

     

    Public comment period follows stakeholder meetings at county parks, Parks User Survey  

    October 16, 2018 9:32am
  • Balanced 2019 proposal includes property tax rate cut of 2%, largest decrease in over a decade

     

    Enhances public health, senior protections; preserves and strengthens the People’s Mandates  

     

    Funding for SUNY Erie, libraries, arts & cultural groups, public art would increase; proposal also includes $32 million for road & bridge investments, $3.2 million for capital improvements in Parks

    October 12, 2018 12:45pm
  • Poloncarz, Higgins announce grants from U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

     

    Funding to be used to support existing Erie County Opioid Epidemic Task Force projects,

     implement Probation Opioid Response Initiative, Opioid Overdose Review Board

     

    October 9, 2018 3:42pm

For press releases from other years, please click on one of the following links:

Date: 
2/13/18

On June 1, 2017 the federal government announced its intention to withdraw from the international Paris Climate Agreement, a historic compact that 195 countries entered into in 2015 to address the mitigation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The Agreement marked a turning point in raising global awareness about climate change and garnering international support for efforts to reduce pollution and promote green energy policies. The United States now stands alone in the world as the only country outside of the Agreement, an unthinkable position given the enormity of our economy, our traditional role of global leadership, and our concurring ability to effect positive change. Pretending that climate change does not exist is not an option, and the federal withdrawal from this critical partnership indicates both weak governance and myopic decision making at the worst possible time.

While Washington may ignore reality in Erie County we are taking action and leading the way to better energy choices. On June 2, 2017 I issued my seventeenth Executive Order in response to the federal decision, directing county departments to prepare a report to implement a plan of action for Erie County to meet the goals set out in the Paris Climate Agreement by 2025. That report, the product of a working group formed to identify strategies for the county to meet the target goals set out by the Agreement, is now complete and can be read at the Erie County website. The report’s findings are encouraging and show that while Erie County government is making significant strides in reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions, the county can also play a lead role in community-wide reduction efforts.

The report is titled “Erie County Commits to Paris: How Erie County Can Meet U.S. Target Reductions for Greenhouse Gas Emissions” and identifies the greenhouse gas emission inventory for the Paris Climate Agreement baseline year of 2005 for both Erie County government and the community at large, as well as for 2014, the most recent year with complete data. The report found that compared to the baseline year of 2005, Erie County as a government had already reduced its greenhouse gas emission usage by 26% in 2014, thereby meaning Erie County has met the goal of a 26-28% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions usage as required by the Agreement. The report also found that the Erie County community at large saw a 12% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions usage in 2014 compared to the baseline year of 2005.

The report outlines a wide variety of projects and recommendations for the County to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals, which currently are focused primarily on internal operations. However, Erie County’s operations amount to only 0.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions across the county, so community participation is crucial for greater results and the report contains a number of policies, partnerships and strategies to mitigate climate change across the community. We all have a role to play in creating a cleaner, healthier future for our children and Erie County is leading the way.