Chicago-area mayors plan 80 percent cut in emissions by 2050

Chicago-area mayors plan 80 percent cut in emissions by 2050
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday announced a partnership with a coalition of Chicago-area mayors aimed at reducing greenhouse gas levels by 80 percent by 2050.

The climate-oriented plan titled "Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region" was co-authored by the NOAA and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

In order to reach its goal of an 80 percent reduction, the NOAA states that the Chicago region will have to reduce per capita emissions by 23 percent every five years, nearly three times the rate of emissions decrease that was observed between 2010 and 2015.

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The largest factors the NOAA states in reaching this goal will be decarbonizing energy sources, decarbonizing transportation and building energy.

The plan establishes multiple goals of assessing climate risks to local infrastructure, educating the community on the hazards brought on by climate change and update existing codes to reflect changing climate conditions among other goals.

“This climate action plan is an excellent step toward achieving a net-zero, climate-resilient economy for the Chicago metro region. This plan can serve as a national model for metropolitan areas across the country,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said in a press release. “Ambitious pushes like this will unleash climate innovation, leading to better technologies and good-paying jobs.”

It would also seek to promote infill development and prioritize transit land use in order to reduce miles traveled. In order to further tamp down on emission levels the plan calls for the creation of "reliable networks of electric vehicle chargers" and a transition to a low or zero-emission fleet of vehicles.

“The Chicago Region’s plan can serve as a model for multijurisdictional, regional collaboration on climate action,” NOAA administrator Richard W. Spinrad said. “NOAA stands ready to facilitate the development of similar plans across the United States.”