City of Binghamton Energy & Climate Action Plan
In April of 2009, the City became a member of ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), and committed to participating in ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection campaign, which involves undertaking the 5 Milestone process for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The City joined ICLEI upon recommendation from the Commission on Sustainable Development and Smart Growth and the Sierra Club Susquehanna Group.
The five milestones are:
1. Conduct a baseline emissions inventory and forecast
2. Adopt an emissions reduction target
3. Develop a Local Action Plan
4. Implement policies and measures
5. Monitor and verify results
A greenhouse gas inventory for the baseline year 2006 (Milestone 1) was completed with the assistance of two Binghamton University students in 2010.
The City's Energy and Climate Action Plan was created by City staff and a citizen Climate Action Plan Advisory Committee during 2010 and 2011. On December 7, 2011, City Council adopted a resolution in support the Energy and Climate Action Plan, which sets a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% by the year 2025 (accomplishing Milestone 2 & 3).
The final steps of the CCP will be to implement the action plan (Milestone 4) and monitor and evaluate the impacts of the action plan (Milestone 5).
About the Energy and Climate Action Plan
An Energy and Climate Action Plan plots our course for an important journey into our future. Such a plan is a description of the actions – policies, programs, and projects – a government will take to reduce a community’s dependence on fossil fuels and to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target. Created by City staff, interns, and a citizen Climate Action Plan Advisory Committee, the City of Binghamton's Energy & Climate Action Plan outlines strategies for cutting energy costs, promoting energy independence and reducing greenhouse gas emissions within Binghamton.
Climate change and rising energy costs will be two of critical challenges facing Binghamton and other local communities in the coming decades. The Northeast has experienced many climate extremes in the last decade, setting new records for number of summer days over 90 degrees, flooding and extreme winter snowfalls. Experts say that if the current trends continue, the region—and many areas around the world—will see even greater climate changes and skyrocketing energy prices.
Combating climate change will address both issues, as well as several other pressing community needs, including job creation, affordable housing, environmental health and the general quality of life. The Energy and Climate Action Plan recommends steps to tackle each of these needs.