SLC Considering Adoption of a Climate Action Plan - 3/16/2011

St. Lawrence County is Considering

Adoption of a Climate Action Plan

At the Board of Legislators meeting on March 14th, County Planning staff presented a draft St. Lawrence County Climate Action Plan (CAP). The initial request to prepare a CAP came from St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in Dec. 2008. The St. Lawrence County BOL passed a resolution in April 2009 which directed the Planning Office to prepare a CAP. The County limited the scope of the CAP to operations under the direct control of County Government. Planning staff used a format provided by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).

The primary goal of this Climate Action Plan is to institutionalize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions into County decision-making and give such reductions equal weight with other considerations.

The CAP approaches this goal with a “no regrets” strategy, that is, by taking measures that:

1. Save the County money while reducing GHGs, such as energy efficiency programs; and

2. Develop the infrastructure that puts the County in a good position to attract funding from the State or federal government, such as maintaining an up-to-date GHG inventory and having a climate action plan in place.

The draft Climate Action Plan looks out over a long time span and tries to anticipate the effects on County operations of increasingly expensive fossil fuels and climate change. The CAP recognizes that specific actions are subject to additional feasibility; it requires the continuing collection of data and refinement over time.

The draft CAP also requires that environmental assessments performed under SEQR include consideration of the following questions:

Will the proposed action affect net energy use?

Will the proposed action affect net greenhouse gas emissions?

To access the draft St. Lawrence County Climate Action Plan, click here.

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