Bethlehem to create sustainability office as part of new climate action plan

Written by on April 13, 2021

 Bethlehem to create sustainability office as part of new climate action plan

By Megan Frank

April 13, 2021

Photo | Courtesy of the City of Bethlehem.

Bethlehem has announced a new plan to fight climate change. To kick off the effort, the city is creating its first-ever office of sustainability and city residents are being asked to join to help reduce Bethlehem’s carbon footprint.

Listen to the story.

City councilman William Reynolds, who’s also running for mayor, introduced Bethlehem’s nearly 300-page climate action plan on April 12 with current Mayor Bob Donchez at his side.

The goal is to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 33%  over the next four years and to get that number to zero by 2040.

“This isn’t something that we’re just going to feel good about. If the price of electricity continues to rise, our most vulnerable populations are the ones that are going to be affected the most,” Reynolds says.

To get city residents involved, Reynolds says a proposed smartphone app would let people track how much energy they use.

“These things sound good, but if you don’t have the data to track how much electricity we’re using year-to-year, those are all very important kinds of technical questions that we need to take seriously,” Reynolds says. 

Bethlehem will also create an environmental justice and equity committee. 

Reynolds says at least 40% of the climate action plan will benefit vulnerable communities.

William Reynolds faces fellow Democrat Dana Grubb in the May primary election

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