October 10, 2017

Statement from Mayor Emanuel on Clean Power Plan

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

“The Trump Administration's attempt to roll back the Clean Power Plan is shortsighted and does not make climate change any less real. This is a blatant attempt to satisfy special interests, and will turn back the clock on progress made across the country in reducing emissions while developing a 21st century economy and creating jobs. Chicago has demonstrated that growing the economy and creating jobs can coexist with reducing your carbon footprint, and we will continue to do both. From creating transparency around energy use to supporting renewable energy development to bringing cities together to discuss our actions on climate during the upcoming North American Climate Summit, Chicago is committed to taking up the reins of leadership on climate change.”

  • Chicago will host the North American Climate Summit in December, bringing together Mayors from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico to outline each city’s respective commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change via new programs and initiatives regardless of action taken by their respective federal governments.
  • This week, Mayor Emanuel proposed a Chicago Energy Rating System to make energy use information for buildings over 50,000 square feet easily accessible to Chicagoans while encouraging energy savings. Once passed by City Council, the proposed ordinance will use buildings existing and publicly available energy data alongside recent energy improvements to rate buildings on a zero to four star scale. Buildings will be required to post ratings in a prominent location on the property, and share this information at the time of sale or lease listing. Chicago is one of the first US cities to assign buildings an energy performance rating and require properties to post their rating.
  • Mayor Emanuel recently launched the “Climate Change is Real” website, putting information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Change Website on the City of Chicago’s servers after the Trump administration unceremoniously removed it from the federal government’s websites on April 29. The information can be found at www.cityofchicago.org/climatechangeisreal.
  • In September, Mayor Emanuel announced that Chicago reduced its carbon emissions by 11 percent from 2005 to 2015, bringing the city to 40 percent of the way to meeting its Paris Climate Agreement goals. The reduction in greenhouse gases over the past decade came while the number of jobs within the city increased by 7 percent and is equivalent to shutting down a coal power plant for 14 months.
  • On April 9, the Mayor announced that by 2025 all of Chicago’s public buildings will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. That transition means 1.8 billion kilowatt hours will come from clean and renewable sources. This follows the 2013 commitment that the City made to eliminating coal from its electricity supply.
  • On April 26, the City of Chicago was awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award. The award recognized the Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge and its 76 member buildings covering 51.3 million square feet-all of which have committed to reducing their energy use by 20 percent.
  • The Mayor kicked off the Smart Lighting Project on the South and West Sides this summer. The project will replace 270,000 of Chicago’s light fixtures and add a management system that will give the city a state-of-the-art smart lighting grid.