City welcomes new Director of Sustainability to Advance Goals of the Green New Deal
Mayor Svante L. Myrick is thrilled to welcome Luis Aguirre Torres as the new Director of Sustainability to lead the City’s Green New Deal initiative. “Since the Green New Deal initiative was unanimously approved by Common Council in June 2019, we have sought the right person to lead the City in achieving our ambitious climate and equity goals.” said Myrick, “We were all disappointed when the pandemic caused a delay in the search process. The silver lining is that we had the opportunity to hire Luis, who brings impressive experience and knowledge to the position.”
Torres brings over 15 years of domestic and international experience working with government, non-profit and business sectors in green technology, policy development and implementation, emissions reduction, green entrepreneurship, and related issues. In 2012 he was recognized by President Barack Obama as a “Champion of Change: Connecting the Americas” for his work in promoting the development and adoption of clean technology and sustainable business practices in Latin America.
Torres will lead the City’s Green New Deal initiative to address climate change, economic inequality and racial injustice through five main goals:
· Targeting community-wide carbon-neutrality by 2030
· Meeting the electricity needs of City government operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2025
· Reducing emissions from the City vehicle fleet by 50% by 2025
· Ensuring benefits are shared among all local communities to reduce historical social and economic inequities
· Facilitating a comprehensive public engagement process
Myrick stresses that due to the dedication of existing staff and community members, the City has made significant progress towards these goals. “Thanks to Nick Goldsmith our part-time Sustainability Coordinator, we are on the cusp of enacting local legislation requiring all new buildings to exceed NYS Energy Code requirements” said Myrick. “Community members formed the Green New Deal Interim Advisory Committee to develop public information and identify stakeholder groups for the public engagement process. Not to mention all our local activists who have never stopped pushing for urgent change. Torres will leverage this existing momentum and enthusiasm to accelerate the work moving forward.”
Torres will join the City’s Department of Planning, and Development in late March. Early actions will include conduction of a Greenhouse Gas Inventory, updating the City’s Climate Action Plan, and kicking off a public engagement process.