Pennsylvania continues the Paris Climate Deal

Ivan Weis-Palacios, North Campus Editor

As the effects of climate change continue to become more visible, local and state governments have decided to lead the charge in creating a more sustainable economy. Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf (D) and his lieutenant governor John Fetterman (D) have launched an effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

Tom Wolf said that he’s issuing an executive order that commits his administration to meeting certain targets in line with the Paris climate agreement.

When the President Trump announced that he was pulling out of the deal, he said that he was elected to represent “Pittsburgh not Paris.” These words have had a large impact in Pittsburgh where the residents are overwhelmingly progressive and voted against Trump in the general election. Pittsburgh also has a long history in reducing its own pollution and carbon emissions.

Last year both Wolf and Fetterman won their elections, showing that the residents of Pennsylvania want a liberal stance on the environment and carbon regulation. Fetterman especially has a progressive stance on reducing the state’s dependence on nonrenewable resources.

Wolf wants to reduce emissions by 26 percent by 2025, based on 2005 levels, and by 80 percent by 2050.

Jeromy Dickey, a CCAC north campus student, says the following, “For me, it seems like reducing carbon emissions should be a no-brainer by now. It’s good to see local government standing up against shifting presidencies. I think it’s another good reminder of how the government is a lot more than just the presidential office.”

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions says 20 states already set targets, but Pennsylvania is among the nation’s biggest polluters. Meeting 2025’s goal is within reach as Wolf says Pennsylvania’s about halfway to the 2025 goal. But the federal data is more optimistic, showing that Pennsylvania’s carbon dioxide emissions shrank more than 20 percent between 2005 and 2016.