Collaborate in Climate Planning Beyond Campus

Working collectively to find climate solutions...

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Climate Planning Beyond Campus is a Leadership goal in the Cornell Climate Action Plan (CAP).

Collaborate in local, regional, state, national, and international planning efforts to address challenges posed by climate change and to increase resiliency.

Goal: Actively partner in local, regional, state, and larger-scale climate planning.

By executive order (pdf) of the Governor, New York State has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050. As New York’s land grant university, Cornell is committed to engaging the public in climate and energy solutions. Cornell Cooperative Extension offices in counties across New York State support renewable energy and energy efficiency planning and implementation among local governments, businesses, and directly with homeowners. For an overview of Cooperative Extension’s climate and energy initiatives, visit Pages/default.aspx.

Image Source: Ithaca’s Energy Action Plan
Image Source: Ithaca’s Energy Action Plan

Cornell University is a significant stakeholder in the City of Ithaca, the Town of Ithaca, Tompkins County, and the six-county Southern Tier region, and Cornell has been an active participant in both climate and energy related planning processes and collaborative organizations within each of these jurisdictions. Cornell staff are currently engaged with the City of Ithaca’s Energy Action Plan (pdf), the Climate Smart -Climate Ready conference, the Town of Ithaca Energy Action Plan, the Tompkins County Planning Department, the Tompkins County Hazard Mitigation Plan (pdf), the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, and the Cleaner Greener Southern Tier initiative.

Cornell graduate students have provided research and expertise to assist with several recent county-wide climate and energy initiatives. Recent reports prepared by Cornell graduate students include the following:

To ensure ongoing coordination between Cornell’s Climate Action Plan and these numerous planning efforts will require that knowledgeable University staff actively participate. During 2016 and 2017, emphasis will be placed on participation in the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap, collaboration with the county-wide education campaign, Get Your Green Back, and building a partnership with IberdrolaUSA, Tompkins County, the Town and City of Ithaca, and Ithaca College for an Energy Smart Community demonstration project under the NYS Public Service Commission's Reforming the Energy Vision initiative. The Campus Sustainability Office, the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and the Cornell Center for Engaged Learning and Research will also explore opportunities to increase student and faculty participation in these regional initiatives.

Next Steps

  • Actively participate in the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap development.
  • Actively participate in an integrated planning process to support the Energy Smart Community partnership.
  • Identify and support collaborative funding proposals to NYSERDA, other state agencies, and private foundations to support campus-community climate and energy programs.
  • Encourage faculty and students to develop academic connections (research and course) to regional planning initiatives.


Secure administrative support for staff time to be dedicated to community and regional planning efforts.