Highlights of the August 6, 2019 meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature

Updated Tompkins County Energy Strategy Strives for Net-Zero Emissions


The Legislature adopted an updated Tompkins County Energy Strategy, one that is “intended to provide vision and leadership to move both county government operations and the overall community toward achieving net-zero emissions.”  Adoption came by unanimous vote, with Legislator Mike Sigler excused.  In a presentation to the Legislature on the County’s energy and sustainability efforts, Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability Katie Borgella reported that the County has done much over the past two decades (documented in a ten-page list of specific initiatives and activities), completing many energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions plans and reports.  The first 2020 Energy Strategy, which the Legislature adopted in 2010, had identified ten high priority local actions that, when taken together with other local, state, and federal actions, would lead the community to reduces its GHG emissions by at least 20% by 2020, as the first step toward achieving the goal of an 80% reduction from 2008 levels by 2050, and subsequent steps over the decade supported that approach. 


While preparation of the updated Energy Strategy began with that incremental approach, Borgella said that in discussions with many groups and, with input from the Tompkins County Energy Task Force, the proposed new Energy Strategy was refocused toward achieving the net-zero goal.  The new Tompkins County Energy Strategy identifies how the County can lead by example in its own operations, and how the County can provide leadership to the community by supporting and facilitating community actions, Commissioner Borgella said.


Review the updated Tompkins County Energy Strategy at

For the comprehensive summary of County energy and sustainability-activities (2000-20i8), see

Contact: Katie Borgella, Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability, 607-274-5560; Deborah Dawson, Planning, Energy, and Environmental Quality Committee, 607-351-8689