Working Towards Becoming a Climate Smart Community
The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program provides local governments with a framework to guide climate action and enable communities to achieve recognition for their leadership towards climate action goals. The goals of the CSC program are to engage and educate local governments in New York State about goals that can address climate action initiatives and to recognize their achievements as they make progress. The program is free and voluntary and designed to encourage ongoing implementation of actions that reduce greenhouse gas emission and help communities adapt to the effects of climate change.
In 2018 the Town and Village of Potsdam joined over 300 participating communities, within New York State, as they work towards achieving best practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change. A joint task force was created consisting of members of the community representing a wide breadth of knowledge and expertise to facilitate reaching CSC goals.
By taking the Climate Smart Communities pledge our community expresses its commitment to taking action on climate change and is designated a Registered Climate Smart Community. Becoming a member of the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program is free and voluntary; there are no fees or legal requirements.
As part of the certification process the program lists action items that have point values associated with them: https://climatesmart.ny.gov/actions-certification/actions/. To achieve Bronze status a community needs to score 120 points, while a SIlver status requires 300 points. Our task force to date has submitted 90 of 120 points needed for the Bronze designation for the Town of Potsdam.
To date the group has completed a Vulnerability Report to identify which extreme weather events will most severely impact the Town and Village of Potsdam in the future, and analyzed the Town’s Comprehensive Plan for its sustainability elements.
Currently the group is completing a Town, Village, and Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory; developing an emergency management plan; and working on a grant (NYSP2I) that will look at ways the community can divert organic wastes from landfills.
Registered and Certified CSCs who apply for funding from the Climate Smart Communities Grant program receive more points in the scoring process compared to applicants who are not members of the CSC program. Each community defines its own best strategies for cutting energy use, reducing emissions, and adapting to climate change. The CSC program is one of the few places where local governments can find free technical support that is tailored to the needs of New York State communities.
2021 Potsdam Climate Smart Communities Task Force Roster
LINKS OF INTEREST
Potsdam Climate Vulnerability Report