Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
At 37%, transportation is the second largest source of emissions in Albany. The most effective strategy for reducing tailpipe emissions is to engineer a society-wide shift away from combustion engines, replacing them with electric vehicles. At the same time, the grid electricity which charges electric vehicles must be transformed from dirty to clean energy. This is already called for in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 (CLCPA) — specifically a 70% renewable grid by 2030. In order to eliminate our transportation emissions, the people of Albany need to start driving electric cars (and taking electrified public transportation) re-fueled by a renewable grid.
New York State has set out to significantly replace our current consumer vehicle fleet. In order to meet the emissions and electrification thresholds articulated in policies such as the CLCPA and a 2013 Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) MOU signed by Governor Cuomo, New York has established a goal of realizing 850,000 zero emission vehicles in the state by the year 2025 - less than five years from now. To date, there are approximately 47,000 ZEVs operating statewide.
Albany is currently under contract to install seven electric vehicle charging stations at five locations around the city. A second round of installations is currently being considered. It is hoped that the city - partnering with NYSERDA and National Grid - can continue to install charging stations on an annual basis in coming years. In addition, the Albany Parking Authority has already installed several EV stations in city parking facilities, with ongoing plans for more installations. The Albany Public Library has also begun installing EV chargers, with one unit being installed at the Delaware Avenue branch.
Food Waste Reduction
According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), 2.8 million New Yorkers are food insecure while 40% of the food produced in the United States goes uneaten. A large portion of that uneaten food, combined with food scraps and other compostable materials, end up in landfills. The decomposition of this organic waste in landfills contributes greatly to the emission of methane - a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
In 2019, the City of Albany along with local partner organizations applied to the DEC for a Municipal Food Scraps Reduction, Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Programs Grant. Out of 27 applicants, Albany was selected to receive a total of $225,535 in grant funding for a total period of 3 years. The funding is being used to jumpstart various initiatives to address issues of food waste reduction, edible food rescue and food scraps composting in the city of Albany.