The Windy City green proposal

A civic task force convened by Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley proposed the “Chicago Climate Action Plan.”

11/07/2007


A civic task force convened by Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley proposed the “Chicago Climate Action Plan.” The goal of the plan is the coordination of large government outlays with private investments in order to reduce the total annual emissions of carbon dioxide by 25% from 1990 levels. Two innovative ideas include wind turbines on the Sears Tower and a green roof for the Merchandise Mart.


The accomplishment of the proposals requires a $2.7 billion investment in transportation improvements. The green proposal arrives on the heels of public transportation budget cuts and a city and county tax increase for the residents of Chicago. The plan outlines a goal for existing homeowners to spend a total of $1.65 billion through 2010 in an attempt to reduce residential energy consumption.

In Chicago, a city that underperforms when it comes to energy efficiency, the task force set lofty energy reduction goals. The group aims to cut Chicago’s emissions of carbon dioxide to 23 million metric tons, down from 41 million metric tons, and reduce energy consumption by 30% from existing buildings and 70% from new commercial buildings by 2020. The $2.7 billion transit outlays will reduce a person’s car trips to and around the city by 35% via the creation of a “gas guzzler” tax based on a car’s gas mileage.


The first step of the plan will occur, in Chicago, when President Bill Clinton outlines the financial assistance for retrofits of large commercial buildings. The “Clinton Climate Initiative” is a program, backed by $5 billion in funding from financial institutions around the globe, in which building owners and environmental consulting firms will connect pre-construction and design energy reduction practices. Energy savings created by the rehab work will repay the actual costs of the retrofits. The Clinton initiative served as the framework for Chicago’s energy plan.

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