- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Providence joined a host of other cities worldwide in committing on Earth Day, Friday, to reduce its carbon emissions.

Mayor Jorge Elorza signed an executive order setting a goal for Rhode Island’s capital city to reach “carbon-neutral” status by 2050. That means the amount of carbon dioxide put into the air by cars and other fossil-fuel burners would be no more than the amount removed from it by trees, improved fuel-efficient machines, and other measures.

The order takes effect citywide in an effort to curb energy usage as well as increase renewable energy efforts at homes and businesses.

Elorza said that as a coastal city, Providence will be significantly affected by climate change over the next century unless residents and leaders take action.

“We all must do our part and I am proud to join a growing coalition of cities across the world who are working towards carbon neutrality and preserving planet earth for future generations,” he said in a statement.

Cities are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as members of the C40 Cities initiative. They include Boston, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Toronto, London, Johannesburg and Tokyo.

Providence plans to set an interim greenhouse gas reduction goal and assess the social, infrastructure and economic effects of climate change.

Rhode Island’s goal is to reduce carbon emissions by 85 percent by 2050.

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