[Haverford, PA] – Today, statewide citizen-based non-profit group PennEnvironment joined the Environmental Advisory Committees of Haverford and Lower Merion townships, and Haverford College to host the Haverford “Climate Action Expo”. The goal of the Climate Action Expo is to promote practical steps that local residents can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help tackle climate change.
"Transitioning to 100% renewable energy in Pennsylvania is not only beneficial for our environment and our wallets -- more importantly, it is the right thing to do,” said Kelly Flanigan, Global Warming Solutions Associate at PennEnvironment. “We owe it to our kids. We owe it to our grandkids. And we owe it to our planet."
The Climate Action Expo offered insights to attendees about steps that they can take as consumers or in their daily lives to reduce their carbon footprints. Many of the practical solutions being offered can be done at lower cost than their current energy expenditures or with a substantial return on capital investment.
Local solar installers like Solar States and Somertyme LLC educated homeowners about easy and affordable ways to power their homes with solar panels; PECO and East Green Energy, among others, showcased easy and affordable ways to reduce your energy consumption; and Green Mountain Energy and the Energy Co-op provided easy options for switching your home energy bill over to renewable power. In addition, environmental organizations such as PennEnvironment, Clean Air Council, Citizens Climate Lobby, and Ready for 100 taught attendees about the environmental benefits of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Throughout the day, members of the community gave presentations to share their practical experiences in making changes to solar, wind, EVs and other green technologies and provided an update on the political landscape around transitioning to renewable energy.
“Solar panels have come down in price dramatically in the last few years, and federal tax credits are still available but phasing out after 2019. If people are considering installing solar panels on their home, now is a great time to do it,” said Dr. Jason Baxter, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Drexel University. Our family installed solar panels in 2012, and now we get 100% of our electricity from clean, renewable solar power.”
The Expo also featured an electric vehicle showcase, where local residents showcased their personal vehicles, and local car dealer, Todd Armen Chevrolet, provided free test drives.
“Driving a Tesla is like piloting a spaceship,” said Stu Ockman, local Electric Vehicle owner. “After driving nothing but electric cars for the last 3½ years, I promise that any concerns you may have are offset many times over by the benefits.”
Besides offering tips to consumers, local governments are also leading the way to reduce their municipal carbon footprints. For example, Haverford Township recently approved a resolution establishing a goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and transitioning heat and transportation to run entirely on renewable sources of energy by 2050. They have joined a growing number of cities, counties, and townships in setting these goals. Haverford and many other local government operations have already taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and all actions taken to date have had economic payback that has reduced the long-term cost of township operations and reduced taxes.
“Haverford Township has done a lot to reduce climate change and has saved taxpayers money in the process. If everyone who ‘thinks something should be done about climate change’ votes with their dollars on zero or low carbon emission cars, electricity, food and home heating – we can lead from the bottom up and transform auto and energy markets to reduce climate change,” said Peter Puglionesi of Haverford Township EAC.
The event’s sponsors stressed that it takes cooperation at all levels to tackle climate change, including consumer choices as well as local, state, and federal policies to solve this problem.
“Climate Change is no longer a far off threat, it’s here and now. We have the technology to solve this, what we need is the political will,” said Noel Smyth of Citizens Climate Lobby.
The event attendees, speakers, and business leaders are committed to continue working together to fight climate change and bring about a 100% renewable energy future, helping to ensure a livable climate for future generations of Pennsylvanians.
Exhibitors at the event included:
PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are dedicated to protecting our air, water, and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives. For more information, visit www.pennenvironmentcenter.org