“From closing coal plants, to updating streetlights, to converting our water pumping stations, Chicago is showcasing to the world the impact that cities can have on climate change for their residents and for people around the world,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago will continue to take ambitious steps towards creating a 21st century sustainable economy that works towards reducing our carbon footprint.”
Mayor Emanuel recently announced that Chicago has reduced its carbon emissions by eleven percent from 2005 to 2015, bringing the City forty percent of the way to meeting its Paris Agreement goals. At the Springfield Station alone, the switch to electric power will save 17,000 tons of carbon emissions every year. This equates to removing nearly 3,000 cars from the road or planting 400,000 trees annually.
“This station is responsible for distributing 45-60 million gallons of water daily to local residents and businesses, making its reliability a top priority,” said Randy Conner, Department of Water Management Commissioner. “This conversion is a great example of how we can incorporate sustainable solutions while saving money and creating more reliable infrastructure for our future.”
The Springfield Pumping Station conversion also focused on green infrastructure with the installation of solar panels, permeable pavers, an underground retention basin and a green roof. The station is expected to receive Silver LEED certification.
An additional 12,000 square feet of new park space for use by the community was created through the demolition of unused City property and further enhances the environmental benefits of the conversation.
Similar conversions are planned for three more pumping stations as part of the Mayor’s Building a New Chicago infrastructure improvement plan.
Last week, Mayor Emanuel and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy gathered municipal leaders from across the world to sign the Chicago Climate Charter, a first-of-its-kind international charter on climate change at the North American Climate Summit. Chicago is a national leader in acting locally and thinking globally in addressing climate action.
The Mayor's June 7 Executive Order established the goal of reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions to levels equivalent to or greater 26-28 percent reduction from 2005 levels to 2025, the original commitment made by the Obama Administration as part of the United States’ commitment to the Paris Agreement. The reduction in greenhouse gases over the past decade came while the number of jobs within the city increased by seven percent and is equivalent to shutting down a coal power plant for fourteen months.
Mayor Emanuel has continued to drive additional carbon emission reductions through a number of new initiatives or expansion of existing programs since 2015, ranging from increasing the number of highly energy-efficient buildings, to updating all Chicago streetlights to smart LEDs. Through these and other efforts, the City as well as its residents and businesses save money, conserve resources, and reduce harmful pollution while also creating clean 21st-century, local jobs.
Chicago Department of Water Management