Mayor Parker to Speak about Houston’s Green Initiatives in Mumbai

Apr. 20, 2015City of Houston

The second day of the investment and trade mission to India will take the Houston delegation to the Asia Society where Mayor Annise Parker will make a presentation on sustainable urban development and Houston’s green initiatives. 

“Houston has proven that it can maintain its title as the energy capital of the world while at the same time pursuing green policies that lift our reputation as a world leader in sustainability,” said Mayor Parker.  “We are leading by example when it comes to investing in programs that reduce costs, improve efficiencies and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.  Going green is good for the environment and good for quality of life, both of which are good for our bottom line.”

Houston is the top municipal purchaser of green power in the nation: over 50 percent of the City’s energy needs are provided by renewable energy. In addition, the City is working on a program to build 30 MW of solar power to add to its renewable energy mix.

City operations have realized a 32 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions since 2007.  The mayor has committed to an additional 10 percent reduction by 2016.  The City is on track to meet that goal.

In partnership with CenterPoint Energy, Houston is embarking on the nation’s largest LED street light conversion project.  Over 165,000 lights will be retrofitted, reducing energy usage by approximately 50 percent, emissions by five percent and City costs by $28 million over the life of the project.

In addition, the much anticipated Bayou Greenways program will add 4,000 acres of new and equitably distributed green spaces that can also serve the function of flood control and storm water quality enhancement. It will also complete 150 miles of continuous all-weather hike and bike trails throughout the greenways.

Other accomplishments:

  • Expanded the light-rail transportation system
  • Invested in electric vehicles and hybrids and a fleet sharing program
  • Retrofitted over 6 million square feet of buildings to improve energy efficiency
  • Launched a bike sharing program that has logged 156,000 checkouts, 716,000 miles ridden and 685,000 pounds of carbon offset
  • Passed a Safe Passing ordinance to keep bicyclists and pedestrians safer on city streets, and encourage more outdoor activity
  • Created a Complete Streets and Transportation Plan to provide safe, accessible and convenient use by motorists, public transit riders, pedestrians, people of all abilities and bicyclists
  • Expanded recycling services to every household in Houston; as well as exploring new technologies and innovations to increase waste diversion and recycling

Mayor Parker also serves on the international Steering Committee of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and serves on President Barack Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

Mayor Parker, the Greater Houston Partnership and the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) of Greater Houston are leading an investment and trade mission to Mumbai and Delhi.  The mission will focus on increasing trade and investment between the Houston region and Indian cities. Monday’s schedule included a speech by Mayor Parker before the World Trade Center, a briefing by the U.S. consul general in Mumbai, networking with IACC Mumbai and a visit to the Mumbai mayor’s home. Mayor Parker extended a formal invitation to Mumbai’s mayor to visit Houston and asked about pursuing a sister city relationship with Mumbai.