Cook County, IL Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Mitigation Act
Status: Adopted on 10/2/07
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WHEREAS, manmade alterations to the Earth’s climate are among the greatest ecological and security threats facing this generation; and
WHEREAS, reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses, by improving energy efficiency and using alternative transportation fuels, lessens the strain on the power grid during times of peak use and works to free the U.S. from dependence on foreign oil; and
WHEREAS, improvements in energy efficiency and alternative fuels pay for themselves rapidly and save taxpayers money by accruing year after year; and
WHEREAS, mandatory emissions standards for the private sector promulgated by local governments have the effect of creating a national patchwork of regulatory systems, an inefficient means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
WHEREAS, nearly all government entities, including Cook County, are themselves significant emitters of greenhouse gas emissions through their electricity consumption, heating and air conditioning, vehicle fleets, and other sources; and
WHEREAS, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) provides a means for governments and firms to enter into a voluntary, legally binding agreement to reduce their emissions of six greenhouse gasses by 1.2 percent each year from 2006 to 2010; and
WHEREAS, the CCX operates under a standard “cap-and-trade” system: each emitter is allocated a certain number of credits and the number of credits is lowered each successive year, allowing entities that reduce their emissions below their requirements to sell credits and those that do not meet their requirements to purchase them; and
WHEREAS, many governments, including the City of Chicago, King County, Washington, and the State of Mexico, as well as many Fortune 500 companies, including Ford, IBM, and DuPont—have joined the CCX and committed themselves to reductions; and
WHEREAS, Chicago reduced its direct greenhouse gas emissions by nearly nine percent from its baseline (an average of between 1998 and 2001) and 2003, a reduction of over 30,000 tons of global warming pollution; and
WHEREAS, the City’s steps to improve energy efficiency in City buildings led to the auditing and retrofitting of 15 million square feet of public buildings, allowing the City and sister agencies to save $6 million annually.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED, by the Cook County Board of Commissioners that Chapter 30, Article III, Division 1, Section 30-326 be enacted as follows:
This Ordinance shall be known as “The Cook County Climate Change Mitigation Act.”
(b) Joining the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).
Cook County shall enter into Phase II of the CCX, committing to a reduction of 1.2 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions each year between 2006 and 2010. The County will deliver energy consumption and other relevant data to the CCX which will assist the County in creating an emissions baseline from future reductions will be measured.
The County will develop a strategic plan within three months of the passage of this Ordinance that outlines where the County will cut greenhouse gas emissions by the amounts required, or exceeding the amounts required, in Phase II of the CCX. This plan will be made publicly available through the President’s Web site.
As the emissions reduction plan is implemented, the County will sell any extra emissions credits that it has on the CCX’s online trading platform.