Pittsburgh Climate Initiative Updates Progress In Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

April 16, 2014Mayor's Office Press Release: Summary report shows more than half of plan recommendations in progress
PEC in the News

Pittsburgh, Pa. — Two years after adoption of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2.0, Pittsburgh Climate Initiative (PCI) is pleased to announce that 23 of the 35 Community chapter recommendations have been completed or are in progress. More than thirty local organizations are currently involved in implementing these recommendations. All of the recommendations in the plan relate directly to actions or policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Pittsburgh.

The first Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, which was adopted by the City of Pittsburgh in 2008, established a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 2003 levels by 2023. The plan sets forth recommendations for achieving this reduction for four sectors: Municipal, Community, Business, and Higher Education. As significant progress was made on implementation of the first plan, an updated version, PCAP Version 2.0, was adopted in 2012.

While some of the accomplishments outlined in the summary are more visible (planting 20,000 trees through TreeVitalize Pittsburgh or improving the City’s bike infrastructure through BikePGH), others are more subtle (such as expanding the City’s recycling center drop-off hours or advocating for efficient energy codes). Other examples include expanding urban agriculture through Grow Pittsburgh, promoting building material reuse through Construction Junction, encouraging ridesharing through CommuteInfo, and disseminating information about energy efficient homes through the ReEnergize Pittsburgh Ambassador program.

“Adapting to a changing climate is a critical component of our work everyday in the City of Pittsburgh. Whether encouraging sustainable development and investment in the City that lowers our carbon impact, or through improving the delivery of city services to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage greater operational efficiency, we are making great strides every day,” Mayor William Peduto said.

“The City of Pittsburgh is proud to play a leadership role in fostering collaboration and addressing climate change through the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative. Much remains to be done, but this is a great start and all the partners should be applauded.”

The Community chapter recommendations were generated through a series of open public meetings held in the summer of 2007, ranging from home energy improvements to green space development. The broad nature of these meetings resulted in recommendations that have been more difficult to complete and track, compared to the other sectors. However, thanks to research and interviews completed while writing this report, PCI now has a more comprehensive grasp of projects and programs that help to carry out the plan.

Seven of the 35 recommendations are listed as “Not Started,” which means that PCI is not aware of any progress made on these projects. In addition, five recommendations are “Tabled Indefinitely,” meaning these projects are no longer practical or feasible.

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