Our Climate Action Plan - An Introduction
By Tom Helling
Last year, Climate Smart Claverack shared information regarding our Town’s GHG Emissions Inventory. The analysis of this data created a benchmark that the Town can use to establish goals in its Climate Action Plan (CAP). The CAP serves as a tactical planning tool to achieve our stated objectives based upon the opportunities presented in the GHG inventory data.
The process is straightforward – using the data gathered in 2019 for the initial GHG Inventory, we continue to collect data each annual period to use as a comparison with prior periods. This year-to-year data will highlight opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and potentially achieve other benefits for the Town. For instance, the LED streetlight conversion will generate lower energy costs as well as generate rebates (in this instance from NYSERDA). This action also serves as an example of the Town’s commitment to sustainable planning, which will create opportunities for future grant funding.
The CAP is important for a number of reasons. Primarily, it offers communities like ours a structure in which the Town can establish achievable goals. It then helps to identify the specific actions to attain said goals. Additionally, each action will contribute in the effort to achieve Bronze Certification. Best of all, the CAP provides a framework that brings clarity and transparency to the process of establishing goals, actions to achieve these objectives, and the means to communicate beyond the committee and the Town Board to the community at large.
The CAP utilizes four primary areas of focus:
the Built Environment
Land Use and Transportation
Waste and Recycling
Each area presents a series of potential actions that a community may take to achieve the various goals and objectives associated with opportunities found in the GHG Inventory data.
Look for future posts as we analyze the data, establish goals and choose the action areas that will help us achieve these goals. These initiatives will require greater participation across our community, and we welcome all interested residents to reach out, express their interests, and see how they might be involved. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little bit about yourself and how you think the Town can make the most sustainable impact!