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Good news to close the year: Philadelphia given an “A” for climate action
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Good news to close the year: Philadelphia given an “A” for climate action

Environmental non-profit CDP gave 95 cities a top score on climate action, including the city of brotherly love.

With 2021 coming to a close with yet another pandemic surge, there’s good news on the climate front.

The City of Philadelphia was recognized as one of 95 cities taking bold leadership on environmental action and transparency by CDP. The “A” rating was given due to factors including “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.” Additionally, the city had to complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment, as well as a climate adaption plan.

CDP, a global non-profit that runs the world’s environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions, rated cities across the globe. Only 9.8% of cities scored in 2021 received an A score.

Other North American cities included in the list include Cleveland, Ann Arbor, Boston, DC, Louisville, and Houston.

CDP - A list cities 2021
Screenshot of A List Cities according to CDP

In a press release, Philadelphia noted key recent climate achievements as:

  • The Building Energy Benchmarking Policy and the Building Energy Performance Policy that require 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

Cover Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash


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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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