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Reducing Philadelphia's Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 80% by 2050 By Hugh Johnson, Senior Associate Director, A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment

In November, researchers from the A.J. Drexel Institute for Energy and the Environment issued a 97-page report to the City of Philadelphia that plots a detailed course for how the city can reduce its emission of greenhouse gasses—with the goal of an 80 percent reduction by the year 2050. The report, which has been posted on the website of the City’s Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and recently cited in Mayor Kenney’s Transition Report, was supported by a grant from the Institute for Energy and the Environment.

Led by Dr. Patrick Gurian and drawing on research from civil, environmental and architectural engineering experts at Drexel’s College of Engineering, policy experts from Drexel’s College of Arts and Sciences, and transportation experts from McGill University in Montreal, the team focused on three areas where the largest greenhouse gas reductions can be made: energy use in buildings, electricity generation, and transportation. It recommended ways to reduce emissions in each area while noting both the cost associated with these adjustments, as well as the effect they would have on the overall emissions produced by the city.  Among its suggestions are retrofitting hospitals, grocery stores, schools and retail stores with better windows and insulation; drawing electricity from low-carbon sources like nuclear, wind and solar power; and encouraging the use of electric vehicles, public transportation, walking and cycling. A full copy of the report can be found here.