Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lehigh County taking steps to meet Climate Change agreement

Wanted: An auditor to inventory any and all of Lehigh County's carbon emissions and energy use.

That's one of the first things Lehigh will do this year as it embarks on a mission to decrease the county's use of oil while reducing emissions widely believed to cause global warming.

Late last year, Lehigh and Northampton counties signed the Climate Protection Agreement, a pledge also taken by Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. The agreement calls on cities and counties to do things such as promote walkable communities to reduce urban sprawl, encourage the use of mass transportation and increase recycling.

It also challenges areas to reduce their carbon emissions to below 1990 levels by 2012.

During a press conference yesterday, Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham detailed what it has been doing to get in line with the goals of the agreement.

From changing lighting in county buildings to more energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs to its first purchase of a Hybrid vehicle last year, Lehigh's doing its best to be easier on the environment, he said.

"We are trying to do at the local level what is not being done on the national level," said Cunningham.

Cunningham said the county fully endorses Gov. Ed Rendell's Energy Independence Strategy, a multi-prong approach to lessen the state's dependence on foreign oils. The strategy involves giving rebates to households to replace inefficient refrigerators and air conditioners and doling out grants for individuals and businesses to install solar panels.

No comments: