Pittsburgh Skyline, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from aaranya’s photostream

There’s good news on the environmental front for the City of Pittsburgh! First is the passage of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version, 2.0. In 2008, Pittsburgh City Council unanimously adopted the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan Version, 1.0 as a “guiding document” and the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative was founded later that year. The goal was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now, City Council has once again unanimously passed a new Green Plan for Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, Version, 2.0, sponsored by Councilman Bill Peduto, outlines what has been accomplished in the past four years and what remains to be done to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals, increase energy efficiency, and save taxpayers money. The comprehensive plan targets the sectors of municipal government, business, community and higher education. The exact goal is to achieve a citywide greenhouse gas reduction goal of 20% below 2003 levels by 2023. And, at the same time, to serve as a tool for Allegheny County to achieve its goal of a 20% reduction in government greenhouse gas emissions below 2008 levels by 2015.

What’s the importance of greenhouse gas reductions? From the plan’s Executive Summary:

Climate change remains a major threat facing both Pittsburgh and the international community with short, medium, and long term consequences for the economy, the environment, and society. Locally, the Pittsburgh region will ultimately experience a variety of climate-related effects including higher prices and shortages of basic goods, higher susceptibility to flooding, increased public expenditures from increased responses to extreme weather events, and higher rates of infectious diseases and heat-related illnesses.

Here are some of the key recommendations for the community sector:

• Encourage ridesharing, telecommuting, and sustainable transportation options
– 2012 blitzes to include transportation component
– Close collaboration with transportation groups around Pittsburgh

• Engage public through education campaign
– Continued work on outreach and climate education

• Create neighborhood climate champions
– 2012 focus neighborhoods will identify strong neighborhood leaders
– Continued work in neighborhoods will bring about strong
– Community partnerships

You can read the entire plan here.

The other news was the Green Building Alliance’s (GBA) unveiling of their new three-year strategic plan. The Green Building Alliance is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in Pittsburgh, which promotes the creation of healthy, high performing buildings and strives to lead the green marketplace. Founded in 1993, it was one of the first U.S. Green Building Council affiliate organizations. The overall goal of their new plan is to prove the value of “going green” to the broadest possible market with a focus on the improvement of existing buildings. GBA remains committed to maintaining their role as the “go-to” resource in Western Pennsylvania for green buildings.

From GBA:

Our programs will include a place-based initiative designed to transform a local community, a Green Schools Academy, and the launch of DASH—a performance measurement, decision-making tool.In addition, we will continue to provide valuable resources via web-based learning products and a robust knowledge network. Collectively, these initiatives will leverage our past successes while repositioning GBA towards the ultimate goal of influencing the mass market.

You can read their plan here.