Creating a healthier, more equitable, and environmentally sustainable community.
The Climate Solutions Accelerator’s mission is to build a healthier, more equitable, and environmentally sustainable community by catalyzing local efforts to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change.
Given the urgency and complexity of climate change, the Accelerator firmly believes that everyone has a role to play in addressing climate change. The Accelerator’s constituents, therefore, include any person or organization in the nine-county Genesee-Finger Lakes Region who is willing to work toward solving climate change, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, and language. Furthermore, we are committed to centering equity in our work and prioritize climate solutions that accelerate emissions reductions while also addressing other key community concerns (e.g., health disparities, access to jobs, affordable housing). We are firmly committed to ensuring that ALL members of our community have opportunities to benefit from, and participate in, climate action at the local level. Building a powerfully diverse climate movement across the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region that bridges political, economic, geographic, and racial divides is therefore a critical goal of our work.
One of the Accelerator’s primary roles in the community is to facilitate collaboration between entities that are working to address climate change and related concerns. By coordinating and aligning the efforts of many local organizations, the Accelerator increases the effectiveness and efficiency of our regional climate movement by bringing together cross-sector stakeholders to work toward equitable, intersectional climate solutions.
A Collective Impact Initiative brings together a wide and diverse group of stakeholders to tackle an urgent, yet complex problem (like climate change) that cannot be solved with a single solution or from within a single organization or sector, e.g., non-profit or government. The Accelerator has convened a steering committee for this initiative, made up of key decision-makers from a wide range of sectors, including government, business, health, housing, transportation, and agriculture. This steering committee is working with consultants from the Stockholm Environment Institute to develop a climate action plan for the nine-county Genesee Finger Lakes region, and a shared measurement system to assess progress toward achieving the plan’s goals. The Collective Impact steering committee and issue-based working groups will coordinate mutually reinforcing activities to reduce redundancies, break down silos, and maximize the efficient use of resources.
The Collective Impact process will allow our region to move quickly towards carbon neutrality, through coordinated, collaborative action to end our dependence on fossil fuels.These efforts to implement systems-level climate solutions will enhance the quality of life for our region’s residents in a variety of ways, such as improved public health, energy affordability, opportunities for green job development, sustainable transportation options, access to public greenspace, neighborhood stability/resilience, and home comfort.
Beyond the Accelerator’s primary collective impact initiative, other current programs include:
- Amped: a collaboration with nearly 20 prominent local institutions to promote beneficial electrification (the use of cleanly-generated electricity to meet energy needs) and encourage organizational leaders to electrify their buildings and vehicle fleets.
- Color Your Community Green: a volunteer-driven initiative that connects and organizes concerned individuals, by municipality or neighborhood, to form a network of climate-focused citizen action teams that (1) identify locally-relevant, high-impact climate solutions and develop implementation strategies using the CYCG “Toolkit,” and (2) advocate for environmental justice and equitable climate solutions to be implemented at the municipal level and in schools.
- HeatSmart Monroe: an initiative that educates, encourages, and incentivizes homeowners to transition from gas and oil heating systems to cleaner, greener heat pump heating and cooling systems.
- Connected Communities Resident Ambassador Program: outreach and education initiative in partnership with Connected Communities to help tenants, landlords and homeowners in the City of Rochester’s EMMA and Beechwood neighborhoods reduce their energy usage—and energy bills—by making weatherization improvements using NY State home energy efficiency grants.