Climate Action Plan for Town of Red Hook to be developed by Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center
Municipalities elsewhere also waking up to the benefits of local climate improvement for their citizens and the planet
WHITE PLAINS, NY, March 25, 2011 –Like a growing number of municipalities in New York and around the country, the small Dutchess County town of Red Hook is thinking proactively about climate change. Town officials recently signed a contract with Pace Law School’s Energy and Climate Center (PECC) to develop and implement a Climate Action Plan.
Red Hook has already taken the first step in its journey: taking stock of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases it emits.
Joining a proactive trend
As energy consultants, PECC staff will follow internationally recognized milestones from ICLEI, an association of over 1,200 local governments around the globe that promotes sustainable development. The PECC consultants will set a greenhouse gas reduction target for Red Hook, and develop an action plan to achieve that goal.
In seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, Red Hook joins the ranks of other local communities that are taking action. Last year, 14 municipalities in Northern Westchester County formed the Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium. Its goals: reduce reliance on fossil fuels, save money for residents and businesses, increase energy efficiency, enable renewable energy generation and increase economic activity.
Seven of those communities were awarded grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to develop climate action plans.
“The real action is local”
The plan will address the residential, commercial and transportation sectors of the Red Hook community, among others, and include a timeline, description of financing mechanisms, and assignment of responsibility to departments and staff. Community input and involvement will be sought throughout the process.
James Van Nostrand, PECC executive director, said, “We have been very involved at the state and regional levels in addressing climate change issues, but the real action is at the local level to implement the strategies necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through this work, we will effectively carry out the policies we have been promoting to help local governments and their constituents reduce their energy bills and follow more sustainable practices.”
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Town of Red Hook on this project,” he added.
The $52,000, one-year contract is funded by a grant from NYSERDA. Anne Marie Hirschberger, Climate Change Law and Policy Advisor at PECC and a graduate of Pace Law School’s J.D. and Climate Change LLM programs, will serve as project manager. She will collaborate with PECC staff and interns.
Hirschberger said, “Addressing climate change at the local level is a critical element in achieving meaningful greenhouse gas reductions, and the Town of Red Hook has already demonstrated its leadership in this area. I look forward to working with the Town over the coming year to build upon its current programs.”
Sue Crane, Town Supervisor of Red Hook, said, “The Town of Red Hook is delighted to be associated with the impressive resources of the Pace Energy and Climate Center through this NYSERDA funded program. For years the Town Board and our volunteer Conservation Advisory Council leadership have pursued efforts to raise awareness, provide education and demonstrate our commitment to sustainable programs and projects. With Anne Marie Hirschberger’s experienced management skills, together with the expertise of PECC consultants, we look forward to joining in creative, practical, replicable climate change programs that will help residents reduce their energy usage.”
Manager, Media Relations
cell (914) 329-8680
Anne Marie Hirschberger
Ottinger Energy Research Fellow
Pace Energy and Climate Center
Founded in 1976, Pace University School of Law has over 7,000 alumni throughout the country and the world and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top four programs in environmental law. It offers full- and part-time JD programs on its White Plains, NY, campus and offers the Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law and Comparative Legal Studies, and a Doctor of Laws in environmental law. The School of Law is part of Pace University, a comprehensive, independent, and diversified university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. www.law.pace.edu http://www.pace.edu/environment/