County launches ‘GreenPrint’ for more sustainable future

By Marie Bertot….

Thirty-eight diesel-electric hybrid buses are serving passengers throughout Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade County recently launched “GreenPrint – Our Design for a Sustainable Future,” a plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cut energy, water and fuel consumption, and help develop a sustainable community for future generations.

GreenPrint is the first collective and comprehensive steps to address climate change and to creating a resilient Miami-Dade County in terms of sustainability, environmental protection and climate change.

The plan, which was developed by a diverse group of experts and community members, contains 137 separate initiatives that directly contribute to a reduction of GHG emissions. Some initiatives include the creating a Green Business Certification Program, continuing to transition the county fleet to hybrid electric vehicles, and improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

It is estimated GreenPrint initiatives will result in a reduction of 1.5 million metric tons of emissions and an avoidance of 3.1 million metric tons over the next five years. Roughly speaking, 1.5 million metric tons of C02 emissions is approximately equivalent to the C02 emissions associated with making 144,000 trips around the earth; traveling the distance to the moon and back 7,500 times, or powering 206,000 homes in Miami-Dade County for the year.

In addition, it is estimated that 1.5 million metric tons of C02 are equivalent to an energy cost savings of approximately $242 million (utilizing $0.09 per kwh as an average) over the next five years.

“We cannot forget that we are a coastal community, vulnerable to the effects of climate change and sea level rise,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez. “It is for these reasons that, since the early 1990s, the county has taken steps to protect our natural environment, people, and economy. And in recent years, we have accelerated our actions.”

By committing to the U.S. Cool Counties Program, the county has agreed to pursue the regional goal of reducing GHG emissions by 80 percent from 2008 levels by 2050. Miami-Dade also supports the state’s goal of achieving 20 percent of Florida’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. These are just two of the more than 100 actions taken by the Miami-Dade County Commission.

“In GreenPrint – Our Design for a Sustainable Future, sustainability is offered in a comprehensive, balanced, and progressive spirit,” said Susanne M. Torriente, director of the Miami-Dade Office of Sustainability. “A sustainable community has a vibrant economy and clean, pedestrian-friendly, and tree-lined healthy communities. It provides for responsible land use and smart transportation, with easy movement via a variety of transportation options for the benefit of current and future residents and visitors.”

To read the GreenPrint plan and provide comments, visit online at http://green.miamidade.gov.


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