Following the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement to limit warming from climate change, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced today that the City of Philadelphia is committing to meeting the internationally-agreed upon carbon emissions reduction targets in Philadelphia.
“President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement goes against the interests of Philadelphians. My administration is now committed to upholding at the local level the very same commitment made by the United States in the Paris climate agreement — to reduce carbon emissions between 26 and 28 percent by 2025. This will ensure that we’re well on our way to meeting Philadelphia’s current long-term goal of reducing the city’s emissions 80 percent by 2050.”
With this announcement, Mayor Kenney joins at least 313 Mayors — representing 62 million Americans — as part of the Climate Mayors’ commitment to adopt, honor, and uphold the Paris agreement goal to limit warming from climate change to below two degrees Celsius. While federal leadership is critical for the United States to meet the commitments made in Paris, cities in the United States will continue to stand with global leaders on climate action.
“Philadelphia is already dealing with the consequences of climate change, such as hotter summers and heavier rain storms,” said Christine Knapp, Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia. “Because these changes disproportionately harm our most vulnerable residents, reducing carbon pollution is critical to achieving the Greenworks vision of a sustainable Philadelphia for all. Local progress on climate change will improve Philadelphia’s economy, reduce illnesses caused by air pollution, and help protect our residents.”
In the absence of federal leadership, the City of Philadelphia is developing and implementing strategies to slow the causes of climate change and prepare for its inevitable impacts, including:
- Greenworks, the City’s sustainability plan that envisions a city where all Philadelphians are prepared for climate change and reduce carbon pollution.
- The Office of Sustainability is completing a municipal Energy Master Plan and Citywide Energy Vision to identify opportunities to reduce carbon emissions from buildings and industry, which emit 79% of Philadelphia’s carbon pollution.
- Later this year, the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems will begin work on transportation planning that promotes equity, increases safety, and reduces carbon pollution that currently accounts for 17% of Philadelphia’s emissions.
- The citywide Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet is completing the city’s first-ever plan to dramatically reduce waste generation, the third-largest source of carbon emissions in Philadelphia.
- In 2015, the Office of Sustainability released Growing Stronger: Toward a Climate-Ready Philadelphia, a report that identifies climate vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies within municipal government.
- The Office of Sustainability’s Energy Office is developing and implementing energy efficiency projects at city buildings including City Hall and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This work reduces carbon pollution through the reduction of energy use.
- In May 2017, the City of Philadelphia received SolSmart Gold designation from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Philadelphia Energy Authority also recently launched a Solarize program aimed at lowering the costs of solar energy deployment for all Philadelphians.
While the City is working to prevent climate change, residents can take action too. The City has put together Environment & Sustainability: City of Philadelphia Action Guides that include quick facts, ways you can help, and other resources. These will be updated to reflect the White House decision.