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In 2008, County Executive Andrew Spano created a Global Warming Task Force that produced the Westchester Action Plan for Climate Change and Sustainable Development. Since 2008, the science on climate disruption has become more clear and more dire. To that end, County Executive George Latimer established a Climate Crisis Task Force in December 2018 whose mission and charge are below.

Mission Statement
The Westchester County Climate Crisis Initiative seeks to reduce, and where possible, avoid potentially catastrophic effects of climate disruption in Westchester County for its residents. This will include a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing resiliency and adaptation practices in an equitable and interconnected manner for a sustainable and regenerative future. Westchester County aims to use this initiative to become carbon neutral and develop resilient communities.

Our Charge
The Westchester County Climate Crisis Task Force will assess and update the County’s 2008 Climate Action Plan. We will analyze our GHG emissions and our vulnerability to and state of preparedness for climate disruption.

We seek to:

  • Identify opportunities for priority actions that may be taken in the short-term to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions at little to no additional cost;
  • Facilitate a comprehensive update of the greenhouse gas emissions inventory in a repeatable, transparent manner for both county and municipal governments as well as the broader Westchester community;
  • Prepare a comprehensive climate action plan taking into account all relevant issues facing County residents which may include:
    • Concrete, implementable measures to draw down emissions of all greenhouse gases
    • County resiliency practices for all sectors and communities
    • County adaptation practices for all sectors and communities
    • A road map for future de-carbonization of Westchester County

While we are currently forming teams along single parameter and cross-cutting themes, the final plan will take an interconnected system-wide approach to meeting the challenges presented by the climate crisis. Each team has a Lead and we anticipate they will meet on a bi-weekly basis to work on the deliverables and to integrate their thinking along the cross-cutting themes.

  • Launch / Early 2019 The CCTF will present to CE Latimer a report delineating short-term actionable and meaningful initiatives that will be immediately impactful to fight climate disruption. These actions will be low cost and easy to implement and show the sincerity with which the County intends to fight the climate crisis.
  • Report / Late 2019 - Update of the 2008 Climate Action Plan utilizing data from an updated GHG inventory.