Climate Action Plan 2030

In 2010, Bedford was one of the first towns in the state to write a plan to address the climate crisis. Through a decade of grassroots outreach, public-private partnerships, policy, and community action, our community has exceeded our initial goal. But the climate is still in crisis. We need to do it again! 

Bedford Town Board Adopts Climate Action Plan 2030 (CAP2030)

On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, the Bedford Town Board passed a resolution in support of a new 10- year Climate Action Plan (read draft plan here), signaling that this visionary document will be incorporated into the Town’s Comprehensive Plan when it is adopted later in the year.

“We are as committed to reaching our new goals as we were with the first ones and are pleased to be launching this new Climate Action Plan that targets an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero carbon emissions by 2040,” said Midge Iorio, Executive Director at Bedford 2020.

Also, at its tenth annual meeting on June 3, Bedford 2020 ushered in changes in its leadership aimed to catalyze community climate action and reach the new aggressive goals in greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction set forth with the adoption of the new Climate Action Plan.

Ellen Rouse Conrad stepped down as President after 11 years of dedication to Bedford 2020 and its mission. She will remain on the Board of Directors. Karen Sabath was elected President of the Board of Directors, having been a Vice President for the past year, and Treasurer for 5 years. Board member Sarah Douglis was elected as Vice President on the Board of Directors and Andrew Chintz moved into the role of Treasurer. Lee Roberts remains Secretary of the Board. The Board also welcomed Kevin Brenner, President of Healthy Home Energy and Consulting, as its newest member. Two directors have moved off the Board, after serving so diligently – Jason Nevarez resigned as he is moving to California and Dick Ottinger is joining the Bedford 2020 Advisory Board. The Board of Directors is 14 people strong and dedicated to meeting its uncompromising goals and continuing to be a leader in environmental community action.

Bedford 2020 Thanks Ellen Rouse Conrad For Her Dedication

As Co-Founder of Bedford 2020, Ms. Conrad was instrumental in creating the vibrant organization that exists today and it is largely her vision that shaped the Town of Bedford into a sustainable community. Ms. Conrad spent countless hours planning and executing the first Bedford Environmental Summit in 2009 which led to the founding of Bedford 2020 and the town’s adoption of its first Climate Action Plan in 2010, one of the first to be adopted in New York State. Success followed with the town receiving federal Department of Energy and NYSERDA grants totaling $2.6 million that launched the home energy efficiency program, now called Energize NY. Ms. Conrad relentlessly pursued the best minds, speakers and practices to burnish the Bedford 2020 brand, but her signature contribution can also be seen in the breadth of Bedford 2020’s portfolio of programs, including the Great Healthy Yard Pledge, Solarize Bedford, Westchester’s Community Choice Aggregation Program, Single Stream Recycling, and the Pollinator Solar Project.

“It’s almost impossible to fully capture Ellen’s contribution to this organization. Her keen mind, vision and enthusiasm have attracted the very best and brightest members to our organization as volunteers, partners, donors, staff, Board and Advisory Board members,” shared Mary Beth Kass, Co-Founder of Bedford 2020.

Olivia Farr, Co-Founder of Bedford 2020, added, “Ellen has served this organization with her whole self, continually striving to improve and learn. It is with profound gratitude and appreciation that we say goodbye to Ellen as President. We are delighted that she will remain an active member of the Board of Directors.”

New Leadership

Karen Sabath is taking the reins as President of the Board of Directors. Ms. Sabath has been an active member of the Board and instrumental in the financial strength of the organization, the 2030 Climate Action Plan, and the Greenlight Award program. Ms. Sabath has a diverse background that covers finance, entrepreneurship, sustainable design and beekeeping.

“Karen is passionate about driving positive change and we are thrilled that she is stepping up as President of the Board of Directors at this pivotal moment,’ said Midge Iorio. “In our first 11 years, Bedford 2020 grew to be a sophisticated, efficient and highly regarded organization that exceeded our goal ahead of schedule, and now we look forward to tackling this new challenge with high impact actions, policy advocacy and engagement of the entire community.”

New Board Member

The board enthusiastically welcomed Kevin Brenner to its ranks at the annual meeting. President and Founder of Healthy Home Energy and Consulting (HHEC), based in Yorktown Heights, NY, Mr. Brenner is a true building scientist with a passion for building energy- efficient homes (1989-2019) and more recently for helping homeowners improve the comfort and indoor air quality of their homes which he has been doing since 2006. Mr. Brenner has earned numerous certifications and HHEC has been recognized by New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) for outstanding performance and exceptional service.

“I extend a warm welcome to Kevin who has been a proponent of energy saving initiatives for years and has been a valued partner of Bedford 2020,” shared Karen Sabath, newly- named President. “Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and improving energy-efficiency throughout the community play a key role in our new Climate Action Plan. Kevin’s first- hand experience – he built a net-zero-energy headquarters and home — and his dedication to a more sustainable future will be vital.”

Other Changes to the Board of Directors

The Board also thanked Jason Naverez, Rabbi at Temple Shaaray Tefila and Board Member since 2010, for being the driving force behind the Religious Communities Task Force, and wished him well on his move across the country. Dick Ottinger, former U.S. Congressman and Dean Emeritus of Pace University Law School, was also lauded as a steadfast and enthusiastic ambassador for the cause who shared his deep network of friends and colleagues and established an important partnership with Pace University Law School, one of the nation’s best environmental law schools. Mr. Ottinger will continue as an Advisory Board member.

Under this new leadership, Bedford 2020 is well positioned to continue to drive action throughout the community to reduce GHG emissions over the next 10 years. Bedford 2020 will officially announce the plans for reaching the new goals as well as the adoption of its new Bedford 2030 name and logo, in the fall.