2:31pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Environment

Lofty goals for Syracuse's first sustainability plan

The city of Syracuse wants to get half its power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

That's just one of the targets laid out in a draft version of Syracuse's first sustainability plan [PDF].

It still has a ways to go, however: about 24 percent of New York's power currently comes from renewable sources - with hydropower accounting for the vast majority of that number, according to the New York Independent System Operator [PDF].

Syracuse is also hoping to reduce its energy consumption, advance education about environmental stewardship and increase urban agriculture and tree cover.

The plan was put together by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, which was created by Mayor Stephanie Miner when she took office two years ago.

Andrew Maxwell, the bureau's director, admits some of the goals are lofty.

"What we've been trying to do with this plan is ... start off in more of a general way, with kind of bigger goals," Maxwell says. "From those [we'll] get more specific about what we should be doing."

Maxwell's office will be taking public comments on the plan over the next few weeks. They plan to have a final draft ready later this year.

Implementing the goals will take several years, Maxwell says.