The Green New Deal and You

The Ithaca Green New Deal is ambitious.

Carbon neutrality community-wide by 2030.
Government operations fueled by 100% renewables by 2025.
A reduction in city-vehicle emissions of 50% by 2025.

If the Ithaca Green New Deal is going to succeed,
it is going to take all of us. Landlords and tenants, public and private, students and workers, young and old.

We all play a part.

Tompkins County emitted about 995,918 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent greenhouse gasses in 2014. That’s equal to 1,097,365,005 pounds of coal burned

From the graphic on the right, you can see that most of the greenhouse gas emissions came from commercial buildings. For most of us, our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions comes in the form of transportation or from our own homes. Those two categories make up a whopping 50% of emissions!

The image on the left shows a breakdown of where our homes’ energy use comes from in Tompkins County. “NYSEG Meters” is measured in kiloWatt hours; that’s electricity to power lights, TVs, hairdryers, you name it. If you plug it in, that helps make up 5.35% of all emissions in Tompkins County. 

Natural gas is measured in therms; that gas goes to heating your home, warming your water, and cooking your food. That’s almost 10% of all emissions in Tompkins County!

The remaining emission sources, fuel oil and propane, are both measured in gallons. These typically go to heating your home during winter.

Transportation makes up around 30% of all emissions in Tompkins County. This includes things like trucks for shipping goods, but also includes your personal car or motorcycle. Passenger vehicles make up about 78% of all miles traveled by mode of transportation. 

This doesn’t correspond one-to-one with emissions, as shipping trucks emit more and some vehicles are electric, but it does show us that one major way to reduce our carbon footprint is switching to walking, biking, or public transportation whenever possible. It doesn’t have to be for every activity, but moving to public transit will profoundly help Ithaca reach carbon neutrality! This will be even more true as TCAT becomes electrified over the coming years. 

The information used for this page is available 2014 Tompkins County Community Greenhouse Gas Emission and Energy Use Inventory. This and other documents can be found on the Tompkins County Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions webpage. 

The visualizations were created in-house using Excel; feel free to download our Excel file here