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Bello’s request to join state climate program referred to committee

Apr 30, 2020

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello.
Credit James Brown/WXXI News

Legislation that would allow Monroe County to be part of a state climate action program has been referred to committee for review.

County Executive Adam Bello had submitted the measure, which asked legislators to adopt a resolution necessary for the county to join New York’s Climate Smart Communities program.

During a meeting of the Monroe County Legislature on Wednesday, President Joe Carbone referred the legislation to the Climate Action Plan Advisory Committee. The move preempted legislators from discussing the proposal.

“As president, I feel that adopting this resolution now is putting the cart before the horse,” Carbone said. “It is the legislature advising the committee rather than the committee advising the legislature.”

In March, lawmakers unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that created an 11-member committee to develop a climate action plan. That plan will lay out policies and practices meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors of the county.

By adopting the Climate Smart Communities resolution, county lawmakers would pledge to take several actions such as decreasing energy use, shifting to renewable energy, and implementing “climate-smart land use.” They would also be committing to inventory greenhouse gas emissions and develop a climate action plan.

The county can then pursue certification as a Climate Smart Community by completing various actions aimed at mitigating or adapting to climate change.

The county could be eligible for state funding or technical assistance to help achieve various commitments made or goals set through the Climate Smart Communities program.

Jeremy Moule is CITY’s news editor. He can be reached at jmoule@rochester-citynews.com.