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“Climate” is absent from Kenney’s final core priorities
Opinion

“Climate” is absent from Kenney’s final core priorities

The Mayor outlined his core priorities for his last year in office. However, climate is missing from the list.

After seven years in office, Jim Kenney’s time as Mayor is coming to a close. The Mayor’s Office of Communications released the mayor’s priorities for the final year in the report, Equity and Opportunity for All: Moving Philadelphia Forward.

The report focuses on four core priorities which are enhancing public safety, building thriving neighborhoods, investing in future generations, and driving economic growth. These are all important priorities for the city.

However, climate change and sustainability are absent from these priorities. The only mention of “climate” is that the Mayor signed the Mayor’s Clean Energy Pledge and U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement to reduce energy usage and greenhouse emissions in 2017. The report does highlight the Philly Streetlight Improvement Project, to cover over 120K streetlights to LED fixtures as work being done this year. Still, it is positioned as an economical cost savings for Philadelphians.

This omission of the word “climate change” or “climate crisis”, comes days after 2022 was ranked as tied for the fifth warmest year on record, and the last 8 years were the hottest on record.

Climate change directly affects each of Mayor Kenney’s priorities, as well as the daily life of Philadelphians. Gun violence has been linked to unseasonable heat, as temperatures are expected to keep rising. Philadelphia is expecting hotter and wetter weather, which affects our neighborhoods. And the list goes on.

Philadelphia needs to take climate change seriously and approach each year as a new opportunity to combat it. The urgency needs to start from the top, especially the leader of our city.

The Mayor needs to outline climate as a consistent priority, not just a footnote in his past accomplishments.

Photo by Dan Mall 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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