New Rochelle vs. Climate Change

The latest dreadful report on climate change from the UN makes for deeply depressing reading, so this is an important moment to remind ourselves that positive, effective climate action is still possible, provided we have the will.  Here’s a good local example . . .

A couple of years ago, New Rochelle joined about 20 other municipalities in the region, under the umbrella “Westchester Power.”  Together, we created the first “community choice aggregation” program in New York State, using our combined bargaining leverage to negotiate lower electricity rates for customers and to purchase “green” power through renewable energy credits.

Since then, New Rochelle has offset 82,759 metric tons of carbon dioxide.  That’s the equivalent of 17,721 cars taken off the road for a year, or 21 wind turbines running for a year, or 2.1 million tree seedlings grown for 10 years.  Our actions have helped strengthen the market for renewable energy and are contributing to a sustainable energy supply — all at a lower cost for consumers, with savings of about $2.4 million here in New Rochelle and $15.8 million region-wide.

Climate solutions like this abound.  But we need national and international action right away to scale up success stories and have a truly global impact.