- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The cities of Albany and Kingston are among the first six municipalities to achieve certification under the state’s Climate Smart program, which is designed to support efforts to meet the challenges posed by climate change.

The other winners announced Tuesday were Orange County, the city of Watervliet (water-VLEET) in Albany County, and Cortlandt and Dobbs Ferry in Westchester County.

Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said the Climate Smart program helps communities increase energy efficiency, promote recycling, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and become more resilient against storms and flooding.

The program coordinators are funded by proceeds from the sale of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative carbon dioxide emissions allowances.

To date, 130 local governments have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for climate change and encourage a green innovation economy.