Chicago Announces 4 Post-COVID Clean Energy Strategies

Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago announced four strategies for the city to achieve a green economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, while achieving its 2025 and 2035 clean energy targets, and also maximizing benefits to historically underserved communities. The city expects a green recovery to strengthen local communities, provide critical relief for residents, generate quality jobs and workforce development opportunities, and improve overall liveability.

“A significant portion of the emissions in Chicago are from the built environment,” said Lightfoot. “That’s why it is absolutely critical that we double down on our efforts to drastically reduce carbon emissions and invest in our local green economy.”

The four strategic plans for Chicago’s green recovery are:

  • A climate action plan that will identify strategies to equitably reduce emissions, achieve community-level climate adaptation, and map out a plan to a green recovery through providing high-quality jobs to residents;
  • A building decarbonization strategy. In order to achieve its long-term climate goals, the city must reduce energy consumption in buildings. The building emission reduction strategy will lower economic burdens on residents and businesses through energy efficiency, electrification, renewable energy, and innovation in new construction;
  • A new electricity franchise. The city plans to renegotiate or replace its franchise agreement with a public utility to operate and manage its electric distribution system. The next franchise agreement will include programs that reduce household electricity costs and fight climate change; and,
  • Renewable electricity supply. The city will sign a new contract this year to power municipal buildings and operations with 100% renewable energy by the year 2025.

“The exciting package of initiatives under the Green Recovery Agenda will drastically transform our energy system and spur new opportunities for a local green economy,” said Angela Tovar, chief sustainability officer for the City of Chicago. “This is our opportunity to chart a path forward for an equitable climate future and to develop the deep hyper-local benefits that our neighbourhoods need now more than ever.”