ALBANY — This type of green is good for skiing.
The three ski areas operated by the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority — Whiteface, Gore and Belleayre — have joined the Climate Reality Project's I Am Pro Snow 100% Committed campaign.
That represents a commitment to use all renewable energy by 2030.
The concept is meant to complement Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Clean Energy Standard, which requires that half of all electricity used in the state be produced by renewable sources by 2030.
"Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface are key drivers of their local tourism economies, and with this commitment they are joining New York's nation-leading efforts to fight climate change, reduce our carbon footprint and foster the development of renewable resources," Cuomo said in a statement.
"This commitment to New York's future, along with landmark new investments in these facilities, will help ensure these resorts' continued vitality for generations to come."
Cuomo's proposed executive budget includes $20 million to upgrade the facilities at Whiteface and Gore mountains and an additional $8 million for upgrades at Belleayre Ski Center.
The Climate Reality Project was founded by former Vice President Al Gore.
The global movement has more than 5 million supporters and a grassroots network of trained activists dedicated to mobilization of action on the climate crisis and increased support for clean-energy solutions.
Climate Reality Project CEO Ken Berlin said they are proud to partner with ORDA and its ski areas.
“(By) recognizing the devastating impact the climate crisis will have on snow, the turn these ski areas are making towards solutions brings us all hope," he said.
"Our community of renewable partners grows each day, and we can’t wait to see who joins us next.”
ORDA Interim President and CEO Mike Pratt said it is their responsibility, as leaders in the ski industry, to be stewards of the environment.
"Over the past several years, each of ORDA’s managed ski resorts has taken steps towards becoming even more environmentally friendly and efficient," he said.
Some of the changes include modernizing snowmaking systems, ski lift drives, building systems and lighting and purchasing renewable power through a 5.3-megawatt solar-power agreement.
Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Preston said winter weather sports and activities are key to the local economies across the state, but especially the North Country.
"Visitors from all over come to this region to ski, snowshoe, ice skate and more, and it is crucial that we preserve the natural resources we have," he said.
"With Whiteface Mountain joining the Climate Reality Project’s I AM PRO SNOW initiative, we as a community can do our part to combat the climate crisis and commit ourselves to a renewable energy future.”
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For more information, visit www.climaterealityproject.org or follow Climate Reality on Twitter at @ClimateReality.