Monday, July 10, 2017

Treasurer Torsella Joins Effort To Stay In Paris Climate Accord, Touts PennSEF Program

Treasurer Joe Torsella Monday signed an open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris climate accord, sending a clear message that despite the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement, a growing number of state and local officials remain committed to fighting climate change.
“The decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord was one of the most foolish and shortsighted actions taken by the Trump Administration thus far,” said Torsella. “Climate change represents a catastrophic threat to Pennsylvania if we do not take action. But it also represents a chance to make wise investments that help avoid disaster and bring returns to taxpayers.”
In June President Trump announced he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, in which 196 nations came together in 2015 for a historic agreement to support actions to reduce carbon emissions.
As the “We’re Still In” letter says, “it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in [U.S.] greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.”
In Pennsylvania, the Treasury Department has partnered with the Foundation for Renewable Energy and Environment to establish PennSEF, which promotes energy and water efficiency, clean energy generation, economic development and environment improvement.
The PennSEF program provides technical and legal assistance along with access to low-cost capital for projects undertaken by municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals.
“Pennsylvania must continue on a course that is both fiscally responsible and embraces the future health and welfare of the Commonwealth,” said Torsella. “The Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Finance Program is a powerful tool Treasury is using to make wise investments for taxpayers that help the environment as well.”
For more information, visit the PennSEF Program website or contact Pennsylvania Treasury at 717-772-1830.
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