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By Samuel R. Avro on Mar 17, 2009 with no responses

Pittsburgh Becomes First City to Launch Citizen Campaign to Reduce Global Warming

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Leaders from community groups, the business sector, local government and the higher education community, working together on the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, today launched a new citywide campaign, “The Black and Gold City Goes Green,” the first-ever attempt by any city in the nation to run a citywide citizen action campaign to cut global warming.

The goal of the campaign is to work together to reduce heat-trapping gases from global warming, with a significant measurable decrease expected by January, 2010.

Today’s event unveiled the community portion of the campaign, which includes a series of monthly actions, all with little or no cost, that families and individuals can take that will make a measurable reduction in the heat-trapping gases they produce. A new website, allows participants to keep track of the environmental improvement they are making, and see how the rest of the city is doing. Pittsburghers without access to the Internet will be able to report their contributions to the campaign by postcard, which will be available through community organizations, houses of worship and at public buildings and institutions.

“This exciting project will make history, not just in Pittsburgh, but around the nation,” said Joylette Portlock, western Pennsylvania outreach coordinator for Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), which is coordinating the community outreach campaign. “The plan is designed to empower the people of Pittsburgh through their community and public interest organizations… by going green. Together, we will save energy, save money, build green jobs and save the planet – all by taking a few simple actions.

“This month, the Black and Gold City is going green by all doing one thing – changing a light bulb or two,” Portlock continued. “If every household in Pittsburgh changes just one outdated incandescent bulb to a newer compact fluorescent light bulb, we will reduce our contribution of heat-trapping gases that cause global warming by 24 million pounds (or 12,000 tons) each year. And we’ll be well on our way to becoming the nation’s greenest city.”

The Black and Gold City Goes Green is part of the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, which is coordinated by the Green Building Alliance. The Initiative grew out of the work of Pittsburgh’s Green Government Task Force, which conducted a citywide greenhouse gas inventory and then created a Climate Action Plan.