PITTSBURGH, PA (November 9, 2021) Mayor William Peduto is joining world leaders for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland this week, having been asked to join the local Pittsburgh delegation, representing ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability nationally and being selected to represent the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Energy on the international level. At COP26, Mayor Peduto will have the opportunity to discuss Pittsburgh’s local progress towards the 2030 climate action goals.
Mayor Peduto attended the 2015 COP21 talks in Paris, France which resulted in the Paris Agreement. Mayor Peduto committed Pittsburgh to follow the agreement on the local level, outlined in the following 2030 goals:
- Reduce citywide emissions by 50%
- Reduce energy and water use in the city by 50%
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 50%
- Become a zero-waste city
Additionally, the City of Pittsburgh committed to improving its operations by creating a series of 2030 municipal goals:
- Utilize 100% renewable energy in all City facilities
- Create a fossil-fuel-free City fleet
- Divest City pension funds from the fossil fuel industry
In the six years since these goals were established, the Peduto Administration’s Office of Sustainability and Resilience Division has worked with departments and offices to make rapid progress on these goals, including:
- Adopting the Climate Action Plan 3.0, a comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the City limits and within City operations to lessen Pittsburgh’s contribution to global climate change.
- Passing a Net Zero Ready Building Ordinance, requiring all new or renovated City government buildings to be net-zero energy (NZE) ready meaning they consume only as much energy as they produce.
- Divesting the City Pension from fossil fuels, firearms, ammunition and for-profit prisons to prioritize investments that protect the environment, reduce arms production and promote human dignity through the Socially Responsible Investing Program Guidelines.
- Purchasing 100 percent renewable electricity for all City facilities, via renewable energy credits, with regional partners in the Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium.
- Distributing over 100,000 blue recycling bins to residents of all single-family homes and apartment buildings with fewer than five units to help achieve zero waste goals. Bins have been distributed to Pittsburgh’s central and eastern neighborhoods, and residents of southern, western, and northern neighborhoods will receive bins in 2022.
- Launching the ForgingPGH Comprehensive Planning process to guide land use in Pittsburgh over the next 20 years that will integrate climate considerations into development decisions.
- Implementing climate impact scoring into the City budgeting process to measure a project’s potential to address climate change.
- Assessing climate risk for Pittsburgh, which examines the city’s changing weather patterns and identifies how the City can adapt infrastructure investments and operations. The assessment identified four key areas to address as we adapt to a new climate: warming temperatures and erratic temperature swings, overall wetter weather including more intense storms, increased invasive species and pests and poorer air quality.
- Transitioning all city streetlights to LED, which will reduce streetlight energy usage by 40-50%
- Piloting compost collection initiatives to minimize the amount of organic waste in landfills, reduce mileage for refuse vehicles and promote healthy soil ecosystems citywide.
- Establishing Hays Woods as protected land to maintain a significant portion of Pittsburgh’s tree canopy, encourage the growth of its unique ecological system and provide residents with a large regional park.
Moving forward, the City will continue to integrate sustainability and resilience into City processes. To accomplish this and the 2030 climate goals, the City is building priority-based budgeting into the City’s budget process, releasing an energy strategy to create a framework for the 2030 goals and Electric Vehicle (EV) legislation to accelerate EV deployment across Pittsburgh.