HARRISBURG, PA — Yesterday, the Wolf Administration announced that the interagency GreenGov Council will begin its analysis of state agencies’ energy savings and sustainability strategies, taking steps towards fulfilling the climate change goals laid out in Governor Wolf’s executive order.
“Commonwealth government has a responsibility to take action to reduce our carbon footprint and focus on the most effective ways we can improve our energy efficiency, protect the environment and generate cost-savings,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “The GreenGov Council will play a pivotal role in coordinating the efforts of our state agencies and keeping them committed to our energy efficiency goals.”
Co-chaired by, the Departments of General Services (DGS), Environmental Protection (DEP), and Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the council has developed the GreenGov Agency Checklist to assess agencies’ efforts to develop and implement energy-saving and sustainability strategies. The survey will be used annually to evaluate progress and achievements toward using fewer resources, which reduces carbon emissions and saves taxpayer dollars.
“This is all about using our resources wisely, whether it is electricity, water, gasoline, or money,” said DGS Secretary Curt Topper. “Every time a commonwealth agency saves electricity or water or fuel it is saving taxpayer dollars as well.”
The survey consists of the performance categories of: Benchmarking and Evaluation; Buildings and Structures; Transportation; Products and Materials; Culture; Renewable Energy; and Resilience. All state agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction will be required to complete the survey, establishing performance measures and strategies to achieve certification in the GreenGov program. Plans are to have the survey fully finalized and presented to the agencies for completion in the first week of December. Once the data is collected, agency results will be shared with the public on the website in the first quarter of 2020.
Governor Wolf established the council in January as part of Executive Order 2019-01, which sets ambitious statewide emission reduction goals to slow down climate change in Pennsylvania: a 26 percent reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050 (from 2005 levels). In July, Mark Hand was appointed to serve as the director of the GreenGov Council.
The governor charged state agencies with leading by example in energy efficiency, emissions reduction, and green energy jobs creation. The GreenGov Council will develop, guide, and coordinate actions across state agencies to meet the following performance goals:
- Reduce overall energy consumption by 3 percent per year, and 21 percent by 2025, as compared to 2017 levels.
- Replace 25 percent of the state passenger car fleet with battery-electric and plug-in electric hybrid cars by 2025.
- Procure renewable energy to offset at least 40 percent of the commonwealth’s annual electricity use.
“Electricity generation and transportation are the two biggest sources of carbon emissions in Pennsylvania,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “In the 2018 Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan, DEP identifies many actions government agencies can take in these two areas to reduce energy use, adopt renewable energy options, and lower emissions. Incorporating these into a standardized assessment across state agencies will enable us to have the greatest collective impact toward slowing climate change.”
“DCNR has made sizable strides in reducing its carbon footprint and reducing energy costs at the same time and we’re eager to help other agencies realize similar outcomes,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “We’re leading the way with 16 high-performance buildings that spend at least 30 percent fewer dollars on energy than code-minimum facilities, the addition of six solar arrays on public lands in the past two years, and the installation of 40 electric vehicle charging stations in state parks and forests for use by visitors.”
For more information, visit the recently launched GreenGov Council subsite, a one-stop-shop for green government activities.
Source: Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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