The Trump administration’s announced earlier this month that it would repeal President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which sought to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector by 32% by 2030, shifts the responsibility for fighting climate change to the state and local governments. With the clock ticking on climate change, we cannot afford to wait for Washington to act.
The United States Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of states, lead by California, New York and Washington, committed to upholding the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change within their borders and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan. Similarly, more than 200 local governments are members of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, an organization of U.S. mayors committed to upholding the Paris Agreement.
Electricity production generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, enrolling our Village in Sustainable Westchester’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program is an easy and economical way to fight climate change. One analysis found that our Village’s participation in the 100% renewable CCA would produce carbon reductions of 4,500–6,000 metric tons (for reference, the EPA finds that a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year).
Amazingly, these environmental benefits get be realized at essentially no cost. Indeed, in 2016, the typical Con Edison customer enrolled in the 100% renewable CCA option actually saved money versus those that received the standard Con Edison supply.
Regrettably, when our Village had the chance to join our neighbors in Ossining, New Castle and Tarrytown and the other 17 communities participating in Sustainable Westchester’s CCA program in January, 2016, it was rejected by the current Mayor and the Croton United majority–over the objections of Trustee Ann Gallelli and myself. However, in January 2018, our Village will have another opportunity to join the program.