December 12, 2018 – Speaking to the crowd gathered at a workshop entitled “Confronting Climate Change: What To Expect In Our Region,” County Executive George Latimer announced the creation of a Climate Crisis Task Force tackling actions needed to reduce Westchester’s carbon footprint and make us more resilient to climate change.
Steered by Sustainability and Energy Conservation Director Peter McCartt, the Task Force led by Janet Harckham, Beth Sauerhaft and Anjali Sauthoff will be creating short-term action initiatives the County can take, while in parallel working on an updated long-term Climate Action Plan. Both of these moves will help shape Westchester’s climate future both now and going forward.
Latimer said: “Westchester County is one part of a very large puzzle in the Country – and we all must work together to make a big impact on stopping climate change. While certain levels of government might down play its impact – and even say its fiction – I don’t. We are going to fight for our climate’s future – we are going to do it together – and it starts right here at home.”
McCartt said: “I am proud of the work we are doing here in Westchester County under County Executive Latimer’s leadership. Global warming is real and we need to address our critical infrastructure to withstand rising waters on both sides of the county. Devastating storms and flood surges are going to be much more intense and frequent, we need to build resilience in addition to being proactive on long term sustainability.”
This task force joins an already extensive list of actions taken by the Latimer Administration aimed at combatting global climate change. A few of these actions include:
- Entering into a Demand Response Program that eliminates the chance of brown-outs and black-outs and the subsequent need for more expensive infrastructure repairs and upgrades;
- Solarizing County properties and facilities while creating energy savings and minimizing expensive and non-sustainable infrastructure construction;
- Electrifying County Fleets which will result in savings on repairs and fuel costs, reducing reliance on fossil-fuels and reducing pollutants;
- Expanding electronic vehicle infrastructure, creating a network of charging stations across the county.
- Expanding recycling measures, including new programs for textile and food scrap recycling which minimizes waste disposal expenses including incineration;
- Initiating a teleconferencing system which minimizes travel expenses as well reducing vehicle emissions; and
- Installing 30,000 LED bulbs County-wide that maximizes energy savings and lowers the cost of maintenance of lighting.