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Pittsburgh and Danish City of Aarhus Sign Clean Energy Agreement

PITTSBURGH, PA (June 24, 2019) Mayor William Peduto and Danish Ambassador Lone Dencker Wisborg today signed a partnership agreement between Pittsburgh and Aarhus, Denmark, on their joint work to advance energy and climate objectives. 

Aarhus, the second-largest city in Denmark, is a fellow post-industrial city with a long track record of implementing clean energy standards, and can assist Pittsburgh on achieving similar goals. In the last decade Aarhus has cut its carbon emissions in half, which is something that Pittsburgh plans to accomplish by 2030. Aarhus has accomplished the emissions cut through efforts such as adopting district energy, moving to cleaner transportation methods, using off-site wind power and so on. 

Officials from the City and the University of Pittsburgh have already been working with the Danish government and others on energy collaboration matters, and today Mayor Peduto and Ambassador Wisborg signed a Memorandum of Understanding on further work between the two cities. 

As the MOU states: 

The City of Aarhus and the City of Pittsburgh are equal in population size and share a history as industrial cities. Today, both cities have a large share of manufacturing jobs while simultaneously they serve as higher education hubs attracting a young and educated workforce and creating an innovative business environment. Aarhus and Pittsburgh are both growing and aiming to accommodate this development by creating healthy and liveable cities and transforming old industrial areas to attractive urban spaces. 

Recognizing the Parties’ mutual interest in taking transformational actions to achieve their 2030 carbon reduction targets and create attractive, resilient, and liveable cities of the future; Recognizing the importance of finding efficient and lasting methods to manage decarbonisation that are compatible with the need for job creation, economic growth, and access to affordable energy, housing and transportation options . . . The Parties believe that an ongoing and robust exchange of information and experience regarding climate action and urban solutions will help the Parties in successfully achieving the two cities’ ambitious 2030 carbon reduction targets. 

A copy of the MOU, which sets out the objectives of the partnership between the two cities, is available here

Ambassador Wisborg and other Danish officials are in Pittsburgh this week for the annual conference of the International District Energy Association at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Tomorrow at the conference, Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh will be recognized by the United Nations Environment District Energy in Cities Initiative for their collaboration, vision and commitment to modernizing local energy infrastructure through district energy microgrids. 

The U.S. Department of Energy signed a first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Pittsburgh on developing a district energy microgrid system in 2015. 

One of the world’s first district energy systems was the Bellefield Boiler Plant in Oakland, built in 1907 to provide steam heat for the Carnegie Museum. Once fueled by coal, it turned over completely to natural gas in 2009.  



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Timothy McNulty
Communications Director
Mayor's Office