Philadelphia renews commitment to fighting climate change

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By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As the country prepares to welcome a new administration, the city of Philadelphia announced a continued commitment to climate action.

Mayor Jim Kenney said when the Trump administration announced their intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, he committed Philadelphia to reducing emissions by 80% by the year 2050. Now he's taking that pledge further.

"I'm pleased to announce that I am committing Philadelphia to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050," he declared.

To outline the steps to get to that goal, Christine Knapp, director of the Office of Sustainability explained the city has released a Climate Action Playbook.

"The playbook has been developed as part of our pledge to the C40 cities; a network of international cities committed to ambitious climate action," she said.

Knapp said they're considering the playbook to be a draft to be edited as Philadelphia receives input from residents through a survey they will issue.

"We hope the playbook serves as a helpful tool for understanding what the city is doing, but also, for identifying where we need to do more," she shared.

"We know that without quick and urgent action, climate change poses real risk to our residents, and in particular to our most vulnerable residents."

Kenney has also named Saleem Chapman as Philadelphia's first Chief Resilience Officer and created the city's first environmental justice commission. Meanwhile, Knapp said the best way for individuals to help the environment is to vote.

"We absolutely can take personal responsibility for our own actions in terms of our own contribution and our personal carbon footprints," she said, "but laws and regulations and policies make a bigger impact."