five common themes
Greenhouse Gas 3. Emission Reduction Emissions Reductions: Contribute to the state’s goal to reduce GHG emissions.
The North Country’s GHG emissions profile already represents a large contribution toward achieving the state’s GHG reduction targets. Although the region represents 26% of the state’s land area (Census 2010), it produced only 3% of the state’s total GHG emissions in 2010, an average of just over 13 metric tons of CO2e per resident. However, the region’s per capita emissions are higher than the state average, primarily due to high transportation-related emissions (40% of total North Country energy consumption) and reliance on fuel oil as a primary heating source (35% of emissions by stationary fuel type). New and existing projects, programs and policy directions in these areas offer opportunities for innovation and incentives to dramatically lower per capita emissions and help meet state goals. Over 94% of the electricity generated in the North Country comes from renewable sources, demonstrating that we are and will continue to be suppliers of low-emissions energy to the state. The North Country will continue to be an exporter of clean electrical energy from renewable sources such as wind and hydro, and, to a small degree, biomass well into the future. Additional opportunities may exist as offshore wind technology is explored on Lake Ontario. Our tremendous biomass resources represent significant opportunities to reduce local GHG reductions 12
and play an important role in statewide reduction goals. Currently, several institutions and private homeowners are realizing the economic benefits of converting from oil, propane, and electric to biomass heating systems. The Plan calls for continued study of the biomass resource to ensure it is developed in a responsible way through support for programs and funding sources that seek to promote additional conversions from oil and electric to biomass. One of the most significant opportunities for reducing building-related GHG emissions is through energy efficiency building improvements and retrofits. Programs that reduce energy use often serve to also preserve existing building stock, enhancing the overall quality of life for occupants and improving the image of the surrounding area. By reducing energy demand, an array of small-scale, on-site renewable energy sources also become more economically viable. Addressing transportation-related GHG emissions in this sparsely populated, geographically vast region will best be accomplished through ride sharing and other strategies to reduce vehicle miles traveled along with opportunities for fuel switching.
North Country Region Sustainability Plan