Our Community vs. Climate Change

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Climate change is an issue that has been craving some resolutions nationally for some time now, but in our local community strides have been taken to adapt and to mitigate the looming crisis. The organization that has spearheaded the attack on climate change is Bedford 2020.

The goal of Bedford 2020, back when it was started 9 years ago, was to reduce Bedford’s carbon emissions by 20% by 2020. As 2020 has just started, it’s time to see if they were able to meet this hefty goal.

As of 2017, their most recent estimate available, Bedford 2020 had reduced community-wide emissions of the town of Bedford by an impressive 44%, and that was three years ago!

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world needs to cut its carbon emissions by “about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030.” Bedford has outpaced this suggestion and should act as a model for what other communities should do to battle the climate crisis.

Bedford 2020 broke down different industries and how the carbon emissions of each were reduced, and how each industry affected the overall 44% reduction.

Energy had by far the most overall reduction in emissions. This is interesting, because often transportation and waste are the focus of conversations, and energy is a minor point or is totally exempt from the conversation.

There has been a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the Westchester energy sector, due to Wescheter’s Power Community Choice Aggregation subscriptions, solar installations, use reduction, energy efficiency, and New York State improved policy on electricity.

The steps which have been taken in our community have had minimal impact on our day to day lives. This proves that saving the planet does not mean that we have to radically change our lives and that it’s not impossible. These steps represent a starting point for communities nationwide, so that future generations have a fighting chance for survival.