After Copenhagen, picking up the slack

While world leaders mop up after Copenhagen and try to figure out how to move forward with a virtually useless deal, state and local governments are picking up the slack.

Case in point: Our governor, Ed Rendell, just announced Green Energy Works, a project to convert biogas into fuel to heat 80,000 homes here in Pennsylvania.

And even closer to home, a little earlier this month our mayor, Michael Nutter, signed legislation making Philly "the first city in the country to adopt a financial incentive for sustainable businesses," certifying 25 companies as "green" - which will translate into a $4,000 tax credit for each.

These are positive moves, though of course with the scope of climate change they're little more than positive gestures, baby steps to build on for the future. We really need national and international leadership for such a global problem. While the Pennsylvania initiative stems from federal stimulus money, there are many potnentially helpful ways the latter could be invested other than biogas, and the overall effect, when looked at statewide, is pretty paltry.

At least Philly's green-certification scheme, though, brings us closer to Nutter's long-stated goal of "Greenest City in America!"

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