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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) announced that the PA GreenGov Council will host the commonwealth's debut Sustainability Summit, according to a release published on Sept. 27.
The Summit's goal is to bring Pennsylvania's leading sustainability experts, elected officials, state-agency leaders, and policymakers for a series of conversations and presentations regarding the progress that the commonwealth has made on energy conservation and sustainability, as well as any potential challenges it will face in the future. The event is free, open to all, and available online.
“We have a responsibility to future generations that requires us to act now to protect our environment and keep Pennsylvanians safe from the dangers of climate change,” Wolf said. “The GreenGov council is driving my administration’s work to support a healthier climate while lowering costs for taxpayers, and I thank them for their leadership and advocacy. Pennsylvania is proud to take the lead on advancing climate sustainability and resiliency, and this summit will promote collaboration to make our work go further and accomplish more.”
“Pennsylvania has made significant progress in the areas of energy conservation and sustainability,” PA GreenGov Council Director Mark Hand said. “The Sustainability Summit and 2022 Sustainability Week activities will give attendees insight into the policies, programs, and funding initiatives that have contributed to our success and will help advance energy efficiency and climate resiliency and create a more sustainable future for Pennsylvania.”
In 2019, Wolf signed Executive Order 2019-01, establishing Pennsylvania's first climate goals as a part of his strategy to combat climate change and protect Pennsylvania from its effects. Said goals call for a statewide reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2025, with a further 80 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2050.
Executive Order 2019-01 also established the PA GreenGov Council, which develops strategies to aid the government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. During its three years of activity, the Council, which is co-chaired by the departments of General Services, Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Natural Resources, has helped commonwealth agencies under the governor's jurisdiction reduce energy usage by 12.3 percent, saving over $8 million.