Archive for Government

Executive Order: Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change

Earlier this month, President Obama issued an executive order to prepare the Nation for climate disruption. This statement, which can be read in full here, provides steps towards implementing the President’s Climate Action Plan.

The executive order begins by outlining a general policy overview, stating that climate change impacts “are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation.” President Obama calls for a coordinated plan among all stakeholders to improve climate preparedness and resilience.

Section 2 focuses on reforming Federal programs to encourage action on climate change protection. This includes removing barriers to projects that improve climate change resilience and providing opportunities for climate protection investments.

The next section calls for agencies to assess changes to land- and water- related programs “to make the Nation’s watersheds, natural resources, and ecosystems, and the communities and economies that depend on them, more resilient in the face of a changing climate.” Much of this work will be completed by the teams outlined in Section 4, titled “Providing Information, Data, and Tools for Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience.”

Finally, the order calls for agencies to regularly report their plans and actions, which will be monitored by the Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.  In addition, a State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force will provide recommendations and input to the President and Council.

To learn more, watch this PBS and Bloomberg News commentary, read this White House fact sheet, or read the entire executive order here.

Pittsburgh 2030 District

First announced in August 2012, the Pittsburgh 2030 District is a collaborative, nationally recognized, but local community of high performance buildings in Downtown Pittsburgh.  District-wide goals include 50% reductions below national and Districts baselines in energy, water, and transportation emissions by the year 2030, along with carbon neutral new construction by the year 2030.

Convened and facilitated by Green Building Alliance (a Pittsburgh Climate Initiative Partner), the Pittsburgh 2030 District is currently focused on Downtown Pittsburgh, with 65 properties totaling 23.9 million square feet already committed to reaching for District goals.  Both the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are Property Partners of the Pittsburgh 2030 District and partners of the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative.

District Property Partners are solidly supported in their quest by 25 Community and Resource Partners — a long list that includes the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative and its individual Partner organizations (Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, Student Conservation Association, and Sustainable Pittsburgh.

Learn more about the Pittsburgh 2030 District at www.2030district.org/pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2

The Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2 is now final and published electronically in the Resources section of this site.

On March 6, 2012, Pittsburgh City Council unanimously endorsed the implementation of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2.  Mayor Luke Ravehstahl signed this resolution on March 12, 2012.  City Council’s full resolution can be downloaded at: http://pittsburgh.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=L&ID=15071.

Prepared in 2010 and 2011 by the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative Partners and a wide number of other stakeholders, the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2 reviews the greenhouse gas reduction measures that government, businesses, higher education institutions, and residents in the Pittsburgh region have already undertaken (especially those actions included in the original Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 1).  The Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2.0 also proposes new measures that these sectors can implement in order to help meet the local greenhouse gas reduction target of 20% below 2003 levels by 2023.

The updated Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan follows a framework similar to its predecessor by organizing recommendations in the following sectors: government, business, community, and higher education. Recommendations were developed by the leading committee for each sector, which included the:

Additionally, in this updated Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, the government sector has been expanded to include three City of Pittsburgh Authorities: the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP), Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA), and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA).

City of Pittsburgh Sustainability Best Practices

Since the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative collaboration was founded in late 2008, the City of Pittsburgh has been implementing a lot of sustainability best practices.  Summaries of 16 of these activities are now downloadable!

Learn from the City’s experiences with the following sustainability best practices:

  • Bike & Pedestrian Initiatives
  • Employee Behavior Change
  • Energy Audits & Retrofits
  • Environmentally Preferred Purchasing
  • Farmers Markets
  • Green Building Legislation
  • Greening the Fleet
  • Open Space Plan
  • Outdoor Lighting
  • Recycling & Composting
  • Renewable Energy
  • Student Involvement
  • Sustainability Commission
  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Urban Greening
  • Vending Machine Misers

City of Pittsburgh “Earth Market”

Calling all green businesses! The City of Pittsburgh will be hosting the first ever Earth Market in Market Square to celebrate Earth Day. The market will be open daily April 23rd through 27th from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Participation is free, but vendors must pre-register by contacting the City’s Sustainability Coordinator, Aftyn Giles, at 412-255-2254 or [email protected] The deadline to register is April 18th–but register early to make sure you get a spot! For more information, see the Earth Market invitation. 

City Council Resolution for Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2

On January 17, 2012, Councilman Bill Peduto introduced a Resolution to Pittsburgh City Council endorsing the implementation of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2. Prepared in 2010 and 2011 by the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative Partners and a wide number of other stakeholders,  this document updates the original Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 1, which was unanimously adopted by City Council in August 2008 as a guiding document for the City of Pittsburgh.

The resolution currently in front of Council includes the following text:

Resolution endorsing the implementation of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan Version 2.0 prepared by the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative conveners and contributors and authorizing and instructing the City Solicitor and/or City Clerk to prepare for enactment, adoption and execution of any Ordinances, Resolutions, Agreements and other documents necessary for the implementation of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan Version 2.0.

 The full resolution can be downloaded at: http://pittsburgh.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=L&ID=15071

A post-agenda hearing on the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version 2.0 is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. in City Council chambers, 5th Floor, City-County Building, 414 Grant Street.