(WASHINGTON, DC) – Mayor Muriel Bowser has signed on to bold new climate goals, committing to transition to zero waste, develop net-zero carbon buildings, and to ensure a low-carbon future that benefits all. The Mayor’s decision was announced by Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Director Tommy Wells, who represented the Bowser Administration at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit.
“Our progress over the last decade shows that it is possible for a large city to grow and prosper while simultaneously shrinking its carbon footprint,” said Mayor Bowser. “While we recognize and celebrate this progress, we also know there is more work to do. DC will continue to invest in and support programs and policies that put us on a path to a greener, more sustainable, and more resilient future.”
The new commitments the District has signed onto include:
- Net-Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration: DC joins 18 global cities in pledging to ensure that all buildings, existing and new, will meet net-zero carbon standards by 2050.
- Advancing Towards Zero Waste Declaration: DC joins 23 global cities in pledging to cut the amount of waste used by citizens by 15%, reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills by 50%, and increase the amount of waste diverted to 70% by 2030.
- Equity Pledge: Scores of cities, including DC, committed to increase community-led development and inclusive climate action to achieve environmental, health, and economic benefits for their citizens.
This year’s summit carries particularly special significance as it marks the midway point between the historic Paris Agreement and 2020 — the year by which science advises we must bend the curve of global emissions in order to give the world the best opportunity to prevent the worst effects of climate change. Washington, DC is one of 70 cities that has signed on to the Deadline 2020 initiative, committing to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and to complete a plan by the end of the year 2020 to deliver on that commitment while making their cities more resilient to climate change.
This announcement comes on the heels of last week’s release of DC’s energy and climate action plan, Clean Energy DC, which is a major component of the Sustainable DC plan. Last week, DC also released a draft of Sustainable DC 2.0, a five-year update to the plan that focuses on infusing equity into all of the city’s sustainability, energy, and climate planning and implementation. The combination of Sustainable DC, Clean Energy DC, and Climate Ready DC are the District’s down payment on a carbon neutral and climate resilient future.
These are just the latest efforts the Bowser Administration has made toward taking the mantle of climate leadership in the District. Washington, DC has cut its carbon footprint by nearly 30 percent since 2006 while the city’s population and economy has grown significantly. As the world’s first LEED Platinum city, the District recently also became the first city in the U.S. to establish a green bank, and continues to lead in the deployment of solar energy in low–income communities and holding buildings accountable for their energy efficiency performance.
For more information on Washington, DC’s work to protect the environment, ensure a clean energy future, and address climate change, visit doee.dc.gov.