PHILADELPHIA — On October 6, Mayor Kenney will lead a City delegation on an international trip to Copenhagen, Denmark. While there, the Mayor will attend and speak at the C40 World Mayors Summit, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Conference, and attend business development meetings.
The main focus of the trip is to learn from global leaders and continue to develop strategies around the global climate emergency, with additional activities planned to support city-to-city relationship building and business opportunities. City officials will be overseas October 6-11.
“The science is clear. We need to act faster and with more urgency to respond to the global climate emergency and avoid catastrophic climate change,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Mayors around the world are leading the way and Philadelphia is no exception. We are implementing the important and necessary steps to meet the targets of the Paris Climate Accords as the Federal government continues to stand on the sidelines. We are proud to be part of a global coalition of leading cities, businesses, and citizens that are building the future we want, today.”
In October 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced Philadelphia as a winning city in the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge. Philadelphia is participating in a two-year acceleration program and has been provided with technical assistance resources and access to cutting-edge support to help meet or beat the city’s near-term carbon reduction goals.
Philadelphia plans to use this support to reduce carbon emissions 28 percent by 2025 in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, and Bloomberg Philanthropies will work with the city to achieve the following actions by 2020:
- Scale up energy efficiency projects across homes and the city’s largest commercial buildings through policies, programs, job training and other resources.
- Dramatically increase the generation and use of renewable energy by leading and supporting institutional clean energy procurement programs.
- Increase trips by bicycle, walking, and transit by 5 percent by 2025 or sooner through the implementation of CONNECT: Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan.
- Accelerate transition of 6,000 municipal vehicles to electric, and work with SEPTA to electrify its fleet.
Additionally, the City’s Office of Sustainability and Mayor Kenney are leading the effort to create the Climate Collaborative of Greater Philadelphia, an all-inclusive platform for leaders, businesses, and organizations to get involved in the fight to protect current and future generations. A kickoff event will be held upon the Mayor’s return from Copenhagen on October 16.
The City’s Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet is representing Philadelphia as one of four global cities participating as part of the C40 Thriving Cities Initiative. This pilot program is launching a campaign with four C40 mayors to organize a local coalition of community stakeholders implementing a ‘Thriving Cities Roadmap’ of consumption-reducing actions that will progress the Cabinet’s existing waste reduction goals.”
Impacts from climate change pose a significant challenge to water utilities across the nation. Philadelphia Water Department created the Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) to understand the impacts that climate change will have on our drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems and to develop cost-effective adaptation strategies to minimize those impacts.
In addition to strengthening relationships with other C40 cities and working to advance Philadelphia’s climate change mitigation efforts, the delegation will also participate in business building activities while in Copenhagen.
Over 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States, and as a result, international business opportunities are vital to the continued growth of domestic businesses. While in Denmark, officials will meet with companies interested in entering the U.S. market and encourage business attraction to Philadelphia. They will also identify and foster opportunities for partnerships in key sectors.
The following people will be part of Philadelphia’s official delegation to Copenhagen:
- Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia
- Christine Knapp, Director, Office of Sustainability
- Nic Esposito, Director, Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet
- Lauren Swartz, Senior Director of International Business & Global Strategy, Commerce Department
- Christopher Puchalsky, Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives, Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability
- Julia Rockwell, Manager, Climate Change Adaptation Program, Philadelphia Water Department
- Kelly Cofrancisco, Deputy Communications Director, Mayor’s Office of Communications
A majority of travel costs for the delegation are being covered by C40. The total estimated cost to the City for the trip is $15,000.
To download a video of the Mayor discussing the trip to Copenhagen and details of the city’s Power Purchase Agreement, click here.