Bicycle Coalition

By Ben Harris

Along with other cities like Pittsburgh, Boston, and Washington DC, Philadelphia has been awarded $2 million as part of the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. Bloomberg Philanthropies, a foundation for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s charitable donations.

According the statement by the city, Bloomberg Philanthropies selected Philadelphia “because of their innovative and ambitious climate action plans to reduce air pollution and city-wide emissions with specific projects aimed at reforming their respective transit and buildings sectors, areas which are typically responsible for 80 percent total of all citywide emissions and over which mayors have significant authority.”

“We’re going to be using it to scale up our climate action. The focus is on reducing carbon emission from buildings and from transportation, which are our two major sources of our carbon footprint,” Christine Knapp, the city’s director of sustainability, said.

Knapp added that 17 percent of the city’s carbon emissions come from it’s 3,000 largest commercial buildings, and that compliance of commercial properties reporting of their energy and water usage has fallen in recent years.

WHYY reported that the other parts of the effort are to include:

  • Dramatically increase the generation and use of renewable energy by leading and supporting institutional clean energy procurement programs.
  • Increase trips by bicycle, walking, and transit by 5 percent by 2025 or sooner and supporting implementation of Connect: Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan.
  • Accelerate transition of 6,000 municipal vehicles to electric, and work with SEPTA to electrify its fleet.

The Goal is to reduce carbon emissions in the city by 28 percent by 2025.

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