WHEREAS, the City of Rochester recognizes the threat posed by global warming to the health, safety and welfare of the residents and businesses of Rochester and the need to reduce energy costs and dependence on foreign and unsustainable energy sources; and
WHEREAS, the City of Rochester is required to attain environmental compliance with state and federal regulations and strives to reduce pollution on its own properties and on privately owned property within the City; and
WHEREAS, the City of Rochester's Comprehensive Plan includes environmental stewardship as an important element to protect and improve the overall quality of our environmental assets and resources (air, land and water quality), our community's three great waterways (Lake Ontario, the Genesee River and the Erie Canal), our unique and historic parks system, our open space areas and urban forest and our clean neighborhood environments; and
WHEREAS, the City of Rochester recognizes that sustainable environmental practices are critical to the economic development future and long-term financial stability of Rochester and that it has a responsibility to the Rochester community to be an environmental steward and leader in promoting green practices to reduce energy use and costs to the City; and
WHEREAS, local government actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency provide multiple local benefits including reduced energy cost, green space preservation and brownfield redevelopment, air and water quality improvements, reduced traffic congestion, economic development, energy conservation and job creation through new energy technologies; and
WHEREAS, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has encouraged municipalities to join its Climate Smart Communities Program by pledging to voluntarily undertake climate protection actions; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has adopted a strong policy resolution calling upon cities, communities and the federal government to take action to reduce global warming; and
WHEREAS, Rochester is one of over 850 cities that have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement which commits cities to:
- Strive to reduce global warming pollution in their own communities, through actions such as conducting a greenhouse gas inventory, adopting anti-sprawl land-use policies, increased use of alternative energy sources, increasing the fuel efficiency of municipal fleet vehicles, urban forest restoration projects and public education campaigns;
- Urge their state governments, and the federal government, to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol -- 7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and
- Urge the U.S. Congress to pass the bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation, which would establish a national emission trading system; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor has established an interdepartmental Green Team and has endorsed the City of Rochester Environmental Mission Statement which expresses the City of Rochester’s commitment to outstanding environmental stewardship through practice and policy; and
WHEREAS, the City of Rochester has a unique opportunity to provide leadership for the greater Rochester community to advance environmental sustainability while promoting social equity and encouraging a vibrant economy.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the City of Rochester, that the City is committed to the long-range goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions as follows:
Section 1. In the course of performing its municipal responsibilities and providing municipal services, the City of Rochester will pursue the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from City operations and practices in the following areas:
- Purchasing of goods and services
- Energy use
- Building design and construction
- Land use
- Street and public space design and construction
- Source reduction and recycling
- Air and water quality and conservation
Section 2. The Mayor shall develop specific policies and practices for the areas listed above that will include the preparation of a greenhouse gas inventory and greenhouse gas reduction target, development and implementation of a local Climate Action Plan as well as measures to monitor and verify results.
Section 3. A comprehensive program of training and education of City employees and a public outreach program shall be undertaken to ensure that the policies and practices are understood, accepted and implemented both within City government and by the community.
Section 4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.