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Phoenix aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)
LISTEN: Phoenix aims to cut greenhouse gases 80-percent by 2050

PHOENIX — It’s not just rhetoric for Mayor Greg Stanton, it’s the rally cry: “Phoenix will continue to lead the way by setting — and beating — ambitious goals.”

Stanton’s passion for putting his money where his mouth is has paid off when it comes to environmental sustainability:

• Phoenix surpassed a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2015

• Phoenix is a nationwide leader in waste stream diversion and recycling

• Phoenix is one of the first cities in the nation to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Certification

• Phoenix leads the way in civic projects to generate solar energy: producing 32 megawatts of solar power.

Now Phoenix is readying to take the next big step: Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2012 levels by 2025 to meet an 80 percent reduction by 2050.

To achieve this lofty target, everybody is going to have to be on board because it means eliminating carbon pollution from homes and business on an unprecedented level.

To get there, Stanton admited, it’s going to take an incredible collaborative effort.

“It’s not going to be a ‘city’ thing, per-se. It’s going to be us working with state and federal entities to make it as easy as possible — and yes, when appropriate — incentivize very important clean alternative fuels and energy sources.”

What Stanton is saying is the days of fossil fuels are over and need to be put out to pasture.

And with the city council on board, the city is already positioning itself to improve energy efficiency, carbon reduction and sustainability. All options are on the table.

“We need to put more trees in our city,” Stanton said.

The city is already looking at ways to build new buildings with maximum efficiency and help the private sector in retrofitting older homes and buildings to make them more energy saving and sustainable.

“It’s amazing when leaders set important goals and work towards accomplishing it, the ideas and innovations come up in order for you to accomplish those goals.”

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