Atlanta’s Utility Committee passed a resolution on April 25 that would commit the city to generating 100 percent of the electricity it uses from renewable energy resources and associated technologies by 2035. Municipal facilities would be mandated to convert to clean energy sooner –by 2025.
The resolution now will be presented to the full Atlanta City Council at their meeting on May 1.
Jennette Gayer, the director of Environment Georgia, a citizen-based state environmental advocacy group, testified during the committee’s hearing in favor of the resolution, noting, ““Atlanta can and should be leading the way to a 100 percent clean energy future. Renewable energy makes us safer and healthier, protecting our communities from global warming and from hazardous air pollution. Renewable energy reduces the need for dangerous and destructive practices like shipping explosive fuels through our cities, fracking for gas near our water supplies, or storing toxic coal ash on the banks of Georgia’s rivers and over our groundwater supplies.”
An economy powered by 100 percent renewable energy is within reach, she emphasized, noting that, “First, we can reduce the total amount of energy we use through improved efficiency, even as our economy continues to grow. Second, we can tap America’s virtually inexhaustible supplies of energy from the wind, the sun, the land and the oceans.”
Ted Terry, director of the Sierra Club’s Georgia Chapter, commented, “With today’s action at the City Council, Atlanta is one step closer to becoming the biggest city in the south to commit to transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy.
Here in Georgia, we’ve seen the benefits of clean energy like solar. From more local jobs to lower electricity costs, clean energy is strengthening our communities and expanding opportunity for families and businesses. This is true across the country where more than 25 cities have now committed to transition entirely to renewable sources of energy like wind and solar. “
“Now more than ever I think it’s important that cities are leaders on climate change and climate action,” said City of Atlanta Chief Resilience Officer Stephanie Stuckey, in an interview with Public Broadcasting Atlanta earlier this month.