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Erie County adheres to Paris Climate Agreement

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says the county will adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley tells us how the county will call on the community and businesses to help shrink greenhouse gas emissions.

“There is no debate among the scientific community on the impact greenhouse gases are having on our global environment,” remarked County Executive Poloncarz.

Last June President Trump removed America from supporting the Paris accords. But now County Executive Poloncarz has issued an executive order to commit to it.

Poloncarz announced completion of anew report, “Erie County Commits to Paris: How Erie County Can Meet U.S. Target Reductions for Greenhouse Gas Emissions”, that reveals the county has already reached target reductions for reducing its carbon foot print.

“We are already doing it, declared Poloncarz.  Overall the county's consumption of greenhouse gas emissions for our internal operations decreased by exactly 26-percent from 2005 to 2014,” declared Poloncarz

Poloncarz said he didn't expect the county to see such a great reduction.

“How did this happen? Well there are a number of factors. The primary reason is the county is now purchasing much less carbon intensive electricity,” remarked Poloncarz.   

“Climate change is a critical challenge of our time – one of truly global proportion and the Council supports taking strong action to address Climate Change. The impacts are broad and they require countywide leadership,” said Chair of the Environmental Management Council, Anne Bergantz. “This report sets forth aggressive goals to mitigate climate change impacts, with a realistic blueprint of actions to meet these goals that includes transparent and ongoing climate impact reporting, so that the community can assess progress.”

Overall the community experienced a 12-percent reduction. But Poloncarz said the county, community and businesses can 'do better' and pledges to reduce emissions by 2025.

WBFO News spoke with Mark Shriver. director of safety and environmental affairs at Curbell, a plastics and medical products business. His company is already working toward reductions.

“We did an LED relighting project and we are saving thousands dollars at just one facility in Orchard Park and we did it in both. We put building management systems in there and we are lowering our gas consumption and our cost, so if you do it right it affects positively the bottom line.

The county will support ways to encourage community involvement to preserve the environment for the future generations.