Philadelphia Named One of 95 Global Cities Named as New Generation of Climate Leaders

PhiladelphiaImage by David Mark

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Philadelphia has been recognized by CDP as one of 95 cities across the globe that is taking bold leadership on environmental action and transparency, receiving an A score, despite the continued pressures of tackling the coronavirus pandemic on local and national economies and societies.

To score an A, a city must disclose publicly and have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target and a renewable energy target for the future, and have published a climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards. In 2021, CDP raised the bar for entry to the A List to reflect the level of ambition needed to achieve 1.5°C targets; only 9.8% of cities scored in 2021 received an A score.

As a 2021 CDP A-List city, Philadelphia is recognized for demonstrating urgent and impactful climate action – from ambitious emissions reduction targets to building resilience against climate change.

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Key recent achievements include: 

  • The Building Energy Benchmarking Policy and the Building Energy Performance Policy that requires large commercial and multi-family buildings to report on and improve (for commercial buildings only) their energy performance.
  • A unanimous City Council vote in December of 2021 to update the LEED ordinance requiring that municipal construction and renovation projects that begin the design process after July 1, 2023 (fiscal year 2024) meet the requirements of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, improving on the previous requirement that projects can achieve LEED Silver certification.
  • The creation of an Environmental Justice Commission to provide recommendations to the Mayor, City Council and Office of Sustainability to study, report on and address environmental justice issues in Philadelphia. In November 2021, the City opened the application process to join the commission.
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“As we look ahead to this next decade, we remain fully committed to achieving our climate targets equitably and justly,”  Helena Rudoff, a spokesperson for Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability “An updated citywide greenhouse gas inventory will be released early in 2022 which will provide further information on where we are making progress and help inform where we need to focus our efforts for further impact. “

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