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Peduto highlights Pittsburgh efforts on climate change at COP26

Andrew Harnik

In 2015, representatives from Pittsburgh attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference and shared the city’s climate action goals. Mayor Bill Peduto returned to the conference this year to give an update on the city’s progress.

At the last conference, Peduto committed Pittsburgh to cutting citywide emissions and energy and water use in half by 2030. The city has also pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 50%, and to become a “zero-waste city.”

It also set goals for 2030 on the municipal level, including using 100% renewable energy in all City facilities, creating a fossil-fuel-free City fleet, and divesting City pension funds from the fossil fuel industry.

According to city officials, a number of projects already in the works will help Pittsburgh meet its goals. The city has begun to transition streetlights to LED, and to distribute new recycling bins. Pittsburgh also created the Climate Action Plan 3.0, and passed an ordinance requiring all new or renovated City buildings to be net-zero energy.

The U.S. aims to limit emissions by 2030. However, international experts have warned that if countries don’t execute more ambitious plans to limit climate change, the planet could warm by more than 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. That’s nearly double the 1.5 degree target set by the Paris Agreement.

Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at