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For Immediate Release: June 21, 2017

Keith P. McKeever | keith.mckeever@apa.ny.gov 
Public Information Officer | Adirondack Park Agency | Press Office | (518) 891-4050

Adirondack Park Agency Strongly Supports New York State Climate Change Policy

Governor Cuomo Challenges New York to establish Strong Climate and Clean Energy Goals

RAY BROOK, NY - At the June Adirondack Park Agency Board meeting, Agency Board members discussed the critical impacts of climate change on the public health, environment and economy of the Adirondack Park and passed a resolution in support of Governor Cuomo's strong commitment to combat climate change. The resolution opposes the United States' withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and reaffirms the Agency's commitment to achieving the goals established by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New York State to address climate change, greenhouse gas emission reductions, and New York State's leadership in a United States Climate Change Alliance.

Under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's leadership, New York State has become a national and international leader in the battle against climate change. The State previously set ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets to decrease emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. New York State is aggressively committed to renewable energy sources and guidelines that are complementary goals to the Paris Climate Agreement.

On June 1, 2017 Governor Cuomo announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance in collaboration with the forward thinking states of California and Washington. The coalition is committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement to ensure a healthy and vibrant planet for future generations.

"The impacts of climate change transcends regional boundaries and political affiliations", said APA Chairman Sherman Craig. "In the Adirondacks we have witnessed the devastating impacts of catastrophic weather events which damaged our communities costing millions in reconstruction and lost revenue. Our winter economy is threatened by unpredictable weather and shorter seasons. And it is a proven fact that the increase use of coal-fired power plants in the Mid-west will bring acid rain which kills aquatic and terrestrial life in our higher elevation forests and waterbodies. Governor Cuomo's brave leadership opposing the United States withdrawal from the Pairs Climate Agreement is a turnkey moment for New York State and the Adirondack Park."

Throughout the Adirondack Park there is strong support for global climate change. State and local government and not-for-profits are aggressively implementing renewable energy sources and finding ways to reduce energy consumption. In addition, there has been a significant increase in local agricultural production and the consumption of these local products by citizens and businesses.

Quite possibly the most important fundamental shift has been in the mindset of the youth of the Park. Through the Wild Center's Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, the next generation of leaders have been inspired to take positive action in everyday life to better our planet. Since its inception, the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit annually influences over 25,000 students represented by the 150 participants from 27 high schools, colleges and universities across the North Country. Participants gain knowledge and the confidence to lead innovative efforts in their own schools and communities. Students started school gardens which supply food for their cafeterias, expanded recycling and composting programs, and implemented carbon audits to increase energy efficiency programs.

The Youth Climate Summit has evolved into a year-round program expanding student skill sets through outreach, education and leadership. The program has created a White House Champion of Change and sent student leaders to the United Nations and COP21 in Paris. The Program also has helped to seed Youth Summits around the world, bringing its unique organization and focus on youth leadership to Finland, Seattle, Sri Lanka, Vermont and Detroit.

The Adirondack Park Agency believes all these efforts clearly exhibit how human activity, economic growth, and environmental stewardship can work in harmony to sustain our planet while improving the human existence. Globally, we are at a point in time where we must act progressively not regressively.

The mission of the Adirondack Park Agency is to protect the public and private resources of the Adirondack Park through the exercise of the powers and duties of the Agency as provided by law.