Modified: April 5, 2019 3:29pm

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Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today signed his twentieth Executive Order, creating a Community Climate Change Task Force that will be charged with supporting both the goals and ideals of the Erie County Commits to Paris report, issued in January 2018, and Poloncarz’ June 2017 Executive Order instructing county departments to adhere to the greenhouse gas emission targets described in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. That Order mandated that Erie County enforce the terms of the Paris Climate agreement by taking a leadership role on the climate change issue, including reviewing and improving internal operations as well as collaborating with other local governments and private organizations on energy conservation and greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emission reductions. The new Community Climate Change Committee will include representatives of nonprofit organizations, universities, transportation organizations, utilities, community members, business leaders, and other organizations or stakeholders that will support that mission.

“The Community Climate Change Task Force is the next step in protecting Erie County for the future by taking steps today to mitigate climate change, acting in unison with like-minded individuals and agencies countywide to limit greenhouse gas emissions and leave a cleaner environment for our children. Erie County government has been leading the way in limiting GHG emissions in our operations and we have had success, but there is more work to do as a community,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Our community does not deny the reality of climate change and we don’t shy away from challenges. Across the county there are many groups, agencies, and organizations who are addressing the climate issue in some way, and we are seeking their input, energy and perspectives. Together we are moving Erie County forward and I am inviting everyone to join us and get involved in community efforts to address this challenge, which is the most important issue of our lifetimes.”

The Erie County Climate Action and Sustainability Plan (“CASP”) for Internal Operations, issued in January 2019, contains a detailed plan for moving county government operations toward a sustainable future and is intended for use as a template by other municipalities beginning their own journeys to sustainability. The CASP also reconfirms county government’s commitment to climate action by increasing the current 26-28% GHG reduction target, which has already been achieved, to 32% by 2020, 50% by 2025, and 80% by 2040.

The Executive Order can be read here.