Pittsburgh emitted 6.6 million of tons of carbon dioxide in 2003, according to study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University. To reach its goal, Pittsburgh must eliminate 1.3 million tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2023.
Pittsburgh Climate Initiative
One of many local climate efforts across the world, the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative (PCI) works collaboratively in the Pittsburgh region to reduce greenhouse gases through measureable actions. PCI raises awareness and engages Pittsburgh’s governments, businesses, higher education institutions, and residents in taking actions that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their impact on the local economy and human well-being. Unless action is taken now to reduce these heat-trapping emissions, Pittsburgh could experience significant and irreparable consequences from climate change.
PCI also guides implementation and updates of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, while coordinating resulting activities and tracking local emissions and reductions. PCI works along the following values statements:
- Always work collaboratively across all sectors,
- Quantify measurable greenhouse gas emission reductions across all sectors,
- Strive to represent our environmental impact accurately,
- Build climate champions across all sectors,
- Use science as a fundamental basis for policy setting, and
- Find strategies to pursue the triple bottom line.
PCI’s collaborative platform of nonprofit, local government, business, and institutional organizations provides a strong basis for action. By collaborating both across and within sectors, PCI enhances its overall impact and the impact of each organization with which it engages. Pittsburgh Climate Initiative is comprised of 7 PCI Partner organizations, whose collaborative structure is guided by the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan. PCI Partners convene and represent four focus sectors; each PCI sector of PCI has its own PCI Partner-led working group that helps to set priorities and activities, as well as implement and develop targeted strategies for reducing GHG emissions:
- PCI CONVENERS: Pennsylvania Environmental Council & City of Pittsburgh
PCI facilitators; oversee local emissions measurement & verification
- SECTOR-FOCUSED INITIATIVES
- GOVERNMENT: Allegheny County & City of Pittsburgh
- Working to green internal government operations for both the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
- BUSINESS: Sustainable Pittsburgh
- Leads the Business Climate Coalition and encourages sustainable business practices through the Green Workplace Challenge.
- HIGHER EDUCATION: Higher Education Climate Consortium
- Engages all Pittsburgh region colleges and universities to collaborate, share information, and set goals regarding research agenda, education curricula, operations, outreach activities, and commitments that reduce GHG emissions.
- COMMUNITY: Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future
- Addressing community climate activities through The Black and Gold City Goes Green campaign, which helps Pittsburgh area residents make their homes, workplaces, and communities greener.
- GREEN CITIES CORPS FELLOWS: Student Conservation Association
- Support PCI Partners by providing 10-month Sustainability Fellows to support work to reduce GHG emissions.
- PLACE-BASED INITIATIVES: PCI is also focusing its efforts on the following Pittsburgh area neighborhoods, communities, and corridors:
(1) Downtown Pittsburgh
- GREENING DOWNTOWN BUILDINGS: Green Building Alliance
- Working with Downtown Pittsburgh buildings to achieve landmark reductions in energy use and emissions while creating healthier, more sustainable places.
(3) Regent Square Area
- Regent Square, Edgewood, Swissvale, & Wilkinsburg