Tuesday, January 4, 2022



Grants Help Support State’s Climate Goals through Green Infrastructure, Greenhouse Gas Reductions, and Storm Resiliency

 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that DEC's Climate Smart Communities Grant program awarded $11 million to municipalities across the State as part of the $196 million in Regional Economic Development Council awards announced by Governor Kathy Hochul earlier this month. The projects will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the ongoing impacts of climate change, including reducing flood risk, increasing natural resiliency, and relocating or retrofitting critical infrastructure.

“Municipalities that become Climate Smart Communities serve as models for others across the State by taking local action to reduce pollution and protect residents from severe weather and other consequences of our changing climate,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Governor Hochul recognizes the severity of the challenges before us and these Climate Smart grants demonstrate New York State’s ongoing commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping all cities, towns, and villages, especially environmental justice communities, become stronger and more resilient.” 

Established in 2016, this 50/50 matching grant program supports municipalities seeking to become certified Climate Smart Communities and implement projects that advance that State’s climate change goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating flood risk, and helping to prepare for extreme weather. The program is jointly sponsored by seven state agencies: DEC, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York Power Authority, Department of State, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, and Department of Public Service. It supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires New York reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Since the program’s inception, DEC awarded more than $50 million to municipalities in support of local climate mitigation and adaptation projects. More information about the grant program is available on the DEC website.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

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