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Climate Smart Communities Program

Sullivan County is Proud to be a Bronze Certified Climate Smart Community

New York State of Opportunity - Climate Smart Communities Certified

Sullivan County is proud to be the sixth County and the 15th municipality in New York State to achieve certification as a Climate Smart Community, and to be a designated Clean Energy Community.

Climate Smart Communities ceremony
Kelly Turturro, DEC Regional Director; Luis Alvarez, Chair of the SC Legislature; Brad Tito, NYSERDA’s Program Manager for Communities and Local Governments; Heather Brown, SC Sustainability Coordinator; and County Manager Josh Potosek at the August 8, 2017 press conference announcing Sullivan County’s certification as a Climate Smart Community and designation as a Clean Energy Community.

CSC Bronze Certification

Sullivan County adopted the Climate Smart Communities Pledge in 2010, and achieved certification as a Climate Smart Community by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in July 2017 by completing 29 significant climate actions, including 6 required priority actions. The County’s achievements, which represent the work of multiple departments and divisions including Public Works, Planning and Environmental Management, Public Health, the Office of Sustainable Energy, the Office of the County Manager, and the County Legislature, include:

  • Improved energy efficiency at County facilities
  • Deployment of solar energy at County facilities
  • A highly effective recycling program and extensive community education
  • Robust support for farmland protection and farmers’ markets
  • Adoption of a Fuel Efficiency Policy for the County fleet
  • Adoption of a policy requiring annual energy benchmarking of County facilities
  • Completion of a Climate Action Plan with specific goals for energy efficiency and GHG reduction for County operations

Certification triggered the County’s designation as a “Clean Energy Community” by NYSERDA, in recognition of the completion of four High Impact Actions which also included partnering with a local non-profit to run a community-based solarize campaign, establishing an Energize NY finance program for commercial and non-profit facilities, and enacting a benchmarking policy for county buildings. The County’s efforts continue as we complete additional actions and projects designed to address climate change and implement clean energy strategies in all areas of County operations. 

Two types of actions enable Climate Smart Communities to minimize the risks of climate change and reduce its long-term costs: mitigation of the causes of climate change, achieved through reduction of GHG emissions; and adaptation to alleviate the risks posed by the predicted effects of climate change, including effects already observed such as increased flooding, drought, extreme weather events and the immediate and long-term impacts on health, safety, economic development and quality of life.

Impacts of Climate Change:
Projected impacts in New York State, region by region

Detailed Reports on Climate Change in NYS
NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority):
Ways to mitigate the causes and adapt to impacts that cannot be mitigated