Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf led Pennsylvania agencies and commissions in a virtual Earth Day 2022 celebration for middle and high school students, hosted by the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence. The global theme of Earth Day 2022, Invest in the planet, focuses on engaging everyone, from citizens to businesses to governments, to accelerate solutions to fight climate change.
The full event is available on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence website.
“Earth Day is a time for each of us to reflect on the importance of the natural world around us and rededicate ourselves to caring for the planet,” said First Lady Frances Wolf. “I hope today’s presentation inspires students in Pennsylvania and highlights the important role of government in addressing the impacts of climate change.”
The event included learning activities from the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Education (PDE), and Agriculture (PDA) , as well as the Game Commission. A virtual exhibit hall includes content from agencies, the Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), and outside organizations.
“On the day we celebrate our planet and all it provides, we must remember that there are actions we can take every day to be better stewards of our resources,” said the DCNR Secretary, Cindy Adams Dunn. “We need a healthy planet for the sake of the parks and forests that so many people enjoy, as well as for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and for the overall health of our ecosystem. This cannot be lost as we work to restore our land.
The Wolf administration has pushed for many environmental investments to combat the effects of climate change. More recently, Governor Wolf proposed using federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to invest $450 million in the Growing Greener conservation and recreation program, as well as conservation programs in the ‘Agriculture. After experiencing record rainfall and flooding last year, this program would make Pennsylvania more resilient to more extreme and frequent weather events caused by climate change. It would support our economy, improve our communities, and improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.
“Earth Day is one of my favorite days because it’s a day when we celebrate something we all have in common: the Earth!” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We invest in the future of clean water and fresh air every day, and I hope you will join us in investing in our future. Think of things you can do to help clean up your home, neighborhood or school. Try using less electricity or taking fewer car trips. And if the weather is nice, get outside and enjoy the fresh air – and let’s make Earth Day every day!
In 2019, the Governor established the GreenGov Executive Order, which requires Pennsylvania to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2025 and 80% by 2050, and the GreenGov Council to improve the energy efficiency in Commonwealth agencies, reducing Pennsylvania’s contributions to climate change and saving taxpayers money. . The DEP has released strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased solar power and increased use of electric and alternative fuel vehicles. In the three years since the publication of the GreenGov Council’s first report, Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction have reduced their energy consumption by 12.3% for savings of more than $8 million.
Additionally, through the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA), the Commonwealth has invested $89.9 million in 10 state facility retrofit projects with energy efficiency measures that, when completed, will result in a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of approximately 17,000 tonnes, which is the equivalent of over 37,000 trees planted each year, removing over 3,100 cars from the road each year and the annual energy consumption of 1,500 homes. In addition, completed projects will generate annual savings of $4.6 million.
The program enables the Commonwealth to undertake energy efficiency projects in public facilities by paying for them over time with the annual savings resulting from reduced utility consumption, rather than using Commonwealth funds to initial capital investments.
The Wolf administration has also taken many steps to make the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence more environmentally friendly, including installing rain barrels, solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, a rain garden and Moreover.
Pennsylvanians are encouraged to visit the Virtual Earth Day 2022 Exhibit Hall to continue participating in Earth Day activities and organizations. The full Earth Day event, exhibit hall and more on Earth Day 2022 can be found here.