Pittsburgh Climate Initiative

Pittsburgh stands a good chance of meeting its goal of reducing greenhouse gases 20 percent by 2023 … if its residents, businesses, institutions of higher education and the City itself can curb their appetite for electricity.

Nearly three-fourths of Pittsburgh’s heat-trapping emissions stem from the consumption of electricity, which in Western Pennsylvania is almost entirely generated by coal fire power plants.

The greatest opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions lies in Pittsburgh’s commercial sector. Businesses, excluding manufacturing, construction and utilities, generate more than half of Pittsburgh's heat-trapping gases annually.

Pittsburgh Climate Initiative


Many of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan’s recommendations have been implemented or are underway.  The Green Building Alliance conducted a second inventory to quantify the impact of accomplished recommendations and to establish the City’s progress toward its goal of 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2023.  Results were published in fall of 2010.




Residential: Total electricity and natural gas consumed by residential users in Pittsburgh during 2003.

Commercial: Total electricity, natural gas, and steam consumed by commercial users during 2003. The commercial sector, sometimes known as the occupational sector, includes: management, professional, and related occupations; service occupations; wholesale retail; information and communication; financial activities; leisure and hospitality; accommodation and food services; other sales and office occupations, and warehouses.

Industrial: Total electricity and natural gas consumed by industrial users during 2003. The industrial sector includes: agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting; mining; construction; manufacturing, and utilities.

Transportaton: Vehicle-miles traveled. Data supplied by the Southwest Penn­sylvania Commission. Because a complete estimate of total vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in the city of Pittsburgh was not available for 2003, the 2002 figure was used instead. Regional figures for composition of vehicle population were unavailable for Southwestern Pennsylvania. National averages were used instead.