Nov 22, 2019 testimony at Philadelphia City Council, video here.

Hello, My name is Meenal Raval. I’ll keep it brief. 

Speaking on bill 190610 — We need to stop using single use plastics. The first on our list should be the easiest — single-use shopping bags. 

After that, we’ll need to ban single-use cutlery, single-use straws, single-use styrofoam containers — all made from fossil fuels — something we must stop extracting, transporting, consuming and throwing away. 

My morning feed today had two headlines on the subject: 

The world is ready to move away from single-use plastics.

As a City, we need to begin our transition away from single-use plastics, beginning with banning single-use plastic shopping bags. Let’s do this with a ban and a fee on these bags! 

I’d also like to speak on bill 190944The abatement of the tax abatement on new construction — I’m personally with Ms Gym on ending the tax abatement. 

I realize you want to ease the burden on developers and new home owners, and if we must give away money — if we must give away money… let’s do so with a climate lens. 

Perhaps we only offer an abatement to developers that build to a net zero energy standard, meaning the building has no emissions during it’s operations for heating, cooling and other power needs. 

This is but one example of how we incentivize energy efficiency. 

I myself live in a rehabbed row home that could be considered a net zero energy building. 

Doing so would make the space more affordable, since there would be no ongoing fuel costs. 

Doing so would also achieve other goals that we have committed to, such as our climate goals of transitioning to renewable energy.