Riverhead Town adopts state’s Climate Smart Communities Pledge

In a 4-0 vote, with Councilwoman Jodi Giglio absent, the Riverhead Town Board adopted New York State’s Climate Smart Communities Pledge Tuesday.

The pledge states that the town will pursue measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate.

“The Town of Riverhead believes that climate change poses a real and increasing threat to our local and global environments, and that it is primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels and other anthropogenic effects,” the pledge states.

Former councilman George Bartunek, who is co-chair of the town’s new environmental advisory committee, urged commitment to the pledge.

He said climate change is something he’s been taking seriously for years, and that he’s been keeping clips with stories about global warming and climate change over the years.

“It is affecting not only the natural environment but also humans,” Mr. Bartunek, a retired science teacher, said. “Whether you agree that it’s caused by human activity or not, climate change is going to happen.”

Ms. Giglio asked during a discussion of the pledge at last Thursday’s work session whether development applications in the town would be affected by it.

Councilwoman Catherine Kent said the pledge will help the town get grants and will help save on energy costs, among other things. But she said adopting the pledge is the first step toward those things.

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