By Francine Steininger, BCA Sustainability Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Earlier this month, during the international climate negotiations in Paris, Washington, DC, was recognized for its aggressive actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). One of 200 applicants from 94 cities, the District received this global award in the green energy category during the 2015 C40 Cities Awards ceremonies. While our city’s reputation has not always been something to brag about, DC’s advances in environmental leadership are!
C40 is a network of more than 80 world megacities committed to addressing climate change. The C40 Cities Awards acknowledge municipal leaders for their leadership in taking innovative steps to tackle climate change across key sectors. This year, only two other US cities were recognized: Boston (smart cities and smart community engagement) and New York (building energy efficiency). Cities in South Africa, China, the Netherlands, and Sweden won in the seven other award categories (adaptation implementation, finance and economic development, transportation, adaptation planning and assessment, sustainable communities, carbon measurement and planning, and solid waste).
The District won its award for its commitment to investing in renewable energy, evidenced by the recent wind power purchase agreement, the largest by a US city to date. The wind energy agreement will supply 35% of the government’s electricity consumption and will save residents $45 million over the next 20 years. It will also reduce DC’s GHG emissions by 17% annually, or about 10,000 tons of carbon emissions per year. Now that’s something to write home about!
Want to know how you can contribute to greening DC? I'll be writing soon about “no effort/low effort” and “I want to change the world” types of activities you can do to help make Burleith and the District a cleaner, greener, more climate-friendly city at your own pace.