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Air Pollution Declines as Public Rallies

March 21, 2014

U.S. cities invest in green programs.

As voters overwhelmingly want to see the country move toward clean energy, the U.S. continues to invest in sustainability programs and is making progress toward cutting air pollutants. Toxic chemical emissions have fallen by 12% from 2011 to 2012, according to the EPA’s annual Toxics Release Inventory report.

A recent national survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research shows that a majority of voters (58%) favor the U.S. setting national goals to move away from coal and other fossil fuels by the year 2030. Other interesting findings from the survey include:

  • Seven out of 10 voters favor the EPA putting limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can release.
  • Two out of three voters say the issue of climate disruption is a serious problem.

This push by the public coincides with many new green programs, including the City Energy Project (CEP), an initiative from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation.

The effort includes mayors from 10 major cities that will undertake a united effort to significantly boost energy efficiency in their buildings. Participants include Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City.

Through this new project, the cities will develop their own locally tailored plans to advance energy efficiency and reduce waste in their large buildings, which can represent roughly 50% of the citywide square footage. The CEP is projected to cut a combined total of 5 to 7 million tons of carbon emissions annually.

These plans, which will include multiple integrated strategies, can make more progress in each city than any one program or policy could alone.

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