Under the plan, which was developed by a Task Force convened by Mayor Daley in 2007 and co-chaired by Adele Simmons, President of Global Philanthropy Partnership, and Sadhu Johnston, the City’s Chief Environmental Officer, the City will work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels (1990 levels are the recommended baseline according to the Kyoto Protocol). Other cities have set similar goals, but Chicago claims it’s plan is the first to both identify emission sources and anticipated impacts, and propose ideas that specifically respond to that research.
Roadmap for mitigation and adaption Edit
The Chicago Climate Action Plan outlines a roadmap of 29 actions that might be taken for mitigating greenhouse gas in four areas: buildings; transportation; energy; and waste pollution. Experts identified these sources are being responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions in Chicago. The Plan also identifies nine actions that could help the city adapt to the changes already occurring. Because the Chicago Climate Action Plan takes a long-term approach, it will be evaluated over time to determine where these actions should be modified or revised. This flexible approach allows for the accommodation of new technologies, new laws and new opportunities as they evolve.
- A “Green Office Challenge” that will spur high rise office buildings to save energy, increase recycling and water efficiency and reduce paper.
- An updated Chicago Energy Efficiency Building Code, which will bring the current code up to international standards and be easier to understand.
- And innovative ways to help property owners save money by making their buildings more energy efficient.
Other steps Edit
Among the other steps proposed in the plan and that the city is considering are
- Large scale solar energy installations at City facilities.
- New partnerships to make it easier for residents and businesses to take greater advantage of public transportation and save money.
- The construction of four publicly accessible alternative fueling stations.
- Implementation of key components of the Chicago 2015 Bike Plan.
- A communications and outreach plan to engage all residents and businesses in the Chicago Climate Action Plan.
But other important steps are much simpler and within the reach of each individual.
- Driving less and walking more
- Using more energy-efficient light bulbs
- Turning down the thermostat a few degrees in winter or up a few degrees in summer.
- Insulating and weatherizing your home.
- Turning off appliances and computers when they’re not in use, and
- Planting trees and shrubs around your home to reduce temperatures.
Existing programs and successes Edit
The Chicago Climate Action Plan builds on the City’s existing programs and successes. Chicago claim that for almost twenty years, Daley and the City have led the nation with innovative initiatives to make Chicago the most environmentally friendly city in the nation. This includes planting more than a half million trees, mandating the construction of environmentally friendly buildings and installing roof top gardens on city owned buildings. Chicago also boasts more Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified (LEED) buildings than any other city and has more than four million square feet of green roof projects either completed or underway. Over the past two years alone, the City and its partners distributed more than one million energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs to residents. The City passed a comprehensive storm water management ordinance.
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