Addressing Climate Change
We’ve been given a warning by science and a wake-up call by nature; it is up to us now to heed them.
– Bill McKibben, Environmentalist
The Town of New Castle believes that climate change poses a real and increasing threat to our local and global environments. The Town has been recognized in New York as a leader in implementing sustainability initiatives to reduce the effects of climate change on our community. In 2021, New Castle was awarded bronze-level certification in the New York State Climate Smart Communities program for its work to implement climate-smart projects and policies.
In 2008, the Town of New Castle became the very first municipality to become a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Climate Smart Community. New Castle is also a Clean Energy Community as designated by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The Town has committed to addressing climate change, as set forth in:
- The Town of New Castle Climate Action Plan of 2011
- The 2017 New Castle Comprehensive Plan
- The 2017 Paris Accord Resolution adopted by the Town Board
- The 2021 Town of New Castle Hazard Mitigation Plan
One of the goals in New Castle’s Comprehensive Plan is to “reduce the Town’s carbon footprint, encourage climate change adaptation measures, minimize energy demand and promote the use of alternative energy.” The Comprehensive Plan establishes goals to update the Climate Action Plan and develop new greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. It also directs the Town to define and reach a specific percentage of municipal energy procured from renewable generation sources and to identify potential sites for renewable energy installations on government-owned properties.
New Castle staff began measuring the Town’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 (using 2005 as our base year), and developed a plan for New Castle to reduce those emissions. This greenhouse gas inventory is updated through a program called “Benchmarking” every year and is available for residents to view.
In 2021, New Castle established a Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Task Force. As described on the NYS CSC website, the Task Force “serves as a central body of leadership that promotes and supports climate mitigation and adaption in the community.” In 2021, New Castle was awarded bronze-level certification in the New York State Climate Smart Communities program by documenting and completing 28 Climate Smart Communities Actions. The CSC Task Force is currently working toward silver-level certification and is working closely with the New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board in developing and implementing climate action strategies (Check out the sidebar).
The New Castle Sustainability Advisory Board has provided ways that residents and businesses in the community can participate in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build community resiliency to climate change. These initiatives, and the actions that residents and businesses in the community can take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, are detailed on the Sustainability Advisory Board’s website.
In 2022, New Castle completed a government operations greenhouse gas emissions inventory and a community greenhouse gas emissions inventory. A government operations greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory is an accounting, analysis, and report of the GHG emissions resulting from the consumption of energy and materials in government buildings, from wastewater and water treatment facilities, from municipal vehicle fleets, from government-owned outdoor lighting, and from other sources. A community GHG emissions inventory is an accounting, analysis, and report of the GHG emissions resulting from energy usage in buildings, transportation fuels, waste, and other sources.
New Castle's Government Operations Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report and Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report are in the sidebar.
New Castle remains fully committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, working with other local municipalities to learn and share best practices, and building a more sustainable Town.