Saturday, May 15, 2010

By the numbers: Chicago Climate Action Plan results

(Photo of Chicago CTA hybrid bus from Flickr and CTAbusphotographer)

Here’s what the Chicago Climate Action Plan has accomplished in the past two years:

• 15,000 dwelling units retrofitted for better energy efficiency
• 300 commercial and industrial buildings retrofitted
• 200 buildings permitted under the new energy code (since April 2009)
• 35 million gallons a day of water conserved
• 636 new car-share vehicles
• 208 new CTA hybrid buses
• 383,125 gallons of alternative fuel sold
• 204,177 tons of waste diverted from landfills

These facts were on a slide City Environment Commissioner Suzanne Malec-McKenna used in speaking to a forum on Growing Chicago’s Clean Energy Economy Tuesday.

Because it’s been really hard to get specific information following the launch of the Chicago Climate Action Plan two years ago, I thought I’d share this with those of you in Chicago who have wondered what, if anything, was happening.

The plan, which has an ambitious goal of 25% reduction in greenhouse gases (below 1990 levels) by 2020, focuses on building efficiency because that’s where most energy is wasted. The retrofits are funded in part through the Clinton Global Initiative.

I still don’t understand why this information is so hard to come by and why the city doesn’t seek more attention for its accomplishments. It seems to be a closely held secret.

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