Climate Action Plan
Dear Citizens of New Castle,
The best scientific consensus is that greenhouse gas emissions are a factor in global climate change. Simply put, this change, if left unchecked, will alter the ecology of our planet. Massive public and private expenditures will be required to cope.
Therefore, because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it makes environmental and economic sense to address these issues now. Clearly, to maximize effectiveness, international, national and regional efforts are required. But the importance of local action cannot be overstated, or undervalued. Each individual, each household, and each locality can make an important difference.
In order to try to do our part, 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. That same year we became one of the first towns in the country to adopt a goal of reducing its ―carbon footprint‖ (greenhouse gas emissions) by 20% below 2005 levels by 2015. An important step forward in this process was for the Town to join ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, an international organization dedicated to helping local governments measure their greenhouse gas emissions, establish reduction targets, develop a plan to meet those targets, implement the measures in the town's plan and, subsequently, monitor progress.
In 2009, Town of New Castle staff measured our greenhouse gas emissions (using 2005 as the base year) and began to develop a plan for the Town of New Castle to reduce those emissions 20% by the year 2015. The Town of New Castle 2011 Climate Action Plan (PDF) focuses on four sectors: Energy; Transportation; Land Use, Buildings, and Vegetation Management; and Waste Management. Within these sectors are many sub-categories that are incorporated into the broader topics. This is not a government plan or strictly for municipal use, but it encompasses our businesses, residences, schools and virtually every segment of our Town. We are all partners in this endeavor and we encourage your participation in helping us achieve our goal.
This effort will affect everything we do, from the cars we drive, to the houses we build, to the food we eat; but the rewards will be great. We will be saving money and we will be living healthier lives. By conserving energy we can achieve our ultimate goal of being a sustainable community. We cannot change the whole world but we can affect what happens in our Town and by doing so, insure a better future for ourselves and for generations to come.
The Town of New Castle