Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham has announced plans for Binghamton’s second Climate Action Plan.
The first plan took effect in 2011, in response to recurring flooding caused by climate change in the Binghamton area, contributing to Binghamton’s standing as the first city in the Southern Tier to be designated a clean energy community by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The new plan, which is estimated to cost around $75,000, will incorporate science-based technologies designed to create a cleaner city by minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.
On Oct. 3, the City of Binghamton will submit a request for the city council to allocate funding for the plan. This fall, the city will issue a request for qualified firms (RFQ) for permission to develop the plan with city officials and community stakeholders, such as the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator (KSTI). Kraham projects the plan will be completed at the end of 2023.
According to Kraham, the Climate Action Plan will help the City of Binghamton plan for its future in being a clean-energy area, bringing a positive improvement to the community.
“The Climate Action Plan will create a benchmark for the city about what our current greenhouse gas emissions are, which is a way we will be able to measure future emissions and progress that relates to climate change,” Kraham said. “[The plan] creates a roadmap for the future about projects and policies the city can adopt, but also puts the city in a position to become a certified climate smart community, which is through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [(NYSDEC)]. That designation opens up a number of grant opportunities for the city and adds to our point totals when we apply for grants, so it is a very positive thing.”
Binghamton University is collaborating with the City of Binghamton on a number of such initiatives.
Per Stromhaug, the associate vice president of innovation and economic development at BU and a representative on the Binghamton Local Development Corporation (BLDC) board, said the plan will be both environmentally and economically beneficial by making Binghamton a more attractive area for development.
“Efforts to make the city more friendly to start-ups that develop and manufacture clean energy technologies will have a positive environmental and economic impact on the city,” Stromhaug wrote in an email. “And lowering of emissions and pollution will make the city a better place to live and work.”
KSTI, which is home to many clean energy start-up companies, is one of BU’s contributing initiatives. The Incubator plans to help the City of Binghamton gain certification from the NYSDEC Climate Smart Communities.
Michael Jagielski, director of the Clean Energy Incubator Program, said the Incubator is fully supportive of the Climate Action Plan and plans to contribute to the aid of the many eco-friendly businesses within KSTI.
“[KSTI] has a vested interest in growing the local clean energy ecosystem and helping our companies commercialize the research and development of our member companies,” Jagielski wrote in an email. “Our companies are uniquely positioned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve ongoing battery and energy storage solutions and make Binghamton the epicenter of the Northeast in clean energy research and development.”
One of KSTI’s eco-friendly “member companies’’ is KLAW Industries — which was founded by BU alumnus Jacob Kumpon, ‘22, the chief operating officer of KLAW Industries. His company repurposes postconsumer glass into a material called Pantheon. This eco-friendly material can be mixed with concrete to replace 20 percent of cement — the producer of 8 percent of global CO2 emissions.
Kumpon explained that KLAW Industries has worked with many companies to promote the production of eco-friendly cement.
“In this year’s curb and sidewalk pilot projects, the City has already prevented over 35 tons of CO2 with our material, Pantheon, demonstrating their focus on action and support of local Binghamton businesses like KLAW Industries, Barney and Dickenson Inc., and Taylor Garbage,” Kumpon said.
Jacey Ruisi, a sophomore double-majoring in English and psychology, said she feels encouraged by the plan, and specifically Kumpon’s involvement as a BU alumnus.
“It’s really inspiring that [Kumpon] did something so impactful after just graduating,” Ruisi said. “I love that [Kumpon] chose to help out the Binghamton city rather than immediately leave.”