Pittsburgh finalizes city energy plan to help tackle climate change | Environment | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pittsburgh finalizes city energy plan to help tackle climate change

click to enlarge Pittsburgh finalizes city energy plan to help tackle climate change
CP photo: Amanda Waltz
Demonstrators hold signs at the Global Climate Strike in Downtown Pittsburgh, September 2019
The past few weeks have been a busy time for environmental policy. First, leaders from all over the world gathered in Glasgow, Scotland for two weeks of intense talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26. One of the attendees was Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who made an agreement with Glasgow where the two cities would develop goals to address climate and environmental sustainability, as well as other issues.

Another accomplishment was the finalization of the City Energy Strategy, Pittsburgh’s first municipal energy plan. Developed by the Department of City Planning’s Sustainability and Resilience Division, the strategy is described as integrating “short- and long-term actions in the Climate Action Plan into the City’s development review processes to help reach the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030.”

The Climate Action Plan was originally created to drastically cut the city’s greenhouse-gas emissions, with governmental operations running on 100% renewable electricity, including a fleet of vehicles not dependent on fossil fuels.

“We must act collectively and quickly to develop a sustainable city in order to support healthy and equitable communities, create jobs and produce opportunities for clean, renewable energy to help meet our climate action goals,” says Peduto in a release. “The City Energy Strategy allows us to work together to integrate climate efficiencies and build a city that is livable and sustainable for all.”

Ultimately, the plan is set on “increasing energy efficiency” in the built environment and infrastructure. To accomplish this, the city plans on working with local utilities, permit holders, and developers to create buildings that run on energy produced by renewable resources, such as solar or wind, which would hopefully lead to “fewer emissions, more efficient buildings, healthier spaces for building occupants and annual cost-savings for building owners.”

The final draft of the City Energy Strategy is available for review and public comment on the City Energy Strategy EngagePGH page through the end of 2021.

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By Mars Johnson