- Becca J. G. Godwin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Atlanta City Council this week unanimously passed a resolution that aims for the city to completely run on clean energy by 2035.
The legislation directs city government to lay out a plan by January on how city buildings will be powered by 100 percent clean electricity by 2025, with the entire city running on clean energy over the following decade.
The measure was introduced by mayoral candidate and councilman Kwanza Hall, who pledged in mid-April that in his administration, Atlanta would be reach the goal by 2050. This vow came a day after he showed skepticism towards climate change at a mayoral forum.
In a city statement on the adopted measure, Hall said moving to clean energy, like wind and solar power, “will create good jobs, clean up our air and water and lower our residents’ utility bills.”
“We never thought we’d be away from landline phones or desktop computers, but today we carry our smartphones around and they’re more powerful than anything we used to have,” Hall said. “We have to set an ambitious goal or we’re never going to get there.”
Atlanta is the first city in Georgia and the biggest southern city to commit to 100 percent clean energy, according to the Sierra Club.
Ted Terry, director of the club’s Georgia Chapter, commended city leaders but said there is still more work to do.
“This commitment represents just the starting point for the community,” Terry said in a statement. “As we move away from fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy, we must ensure that those most threatened by dirty fuels are first in line to see the benefits that come with this transition.”
Clean energy is defined in Atlanta’s legislation as energy derived from wind, solar, existing and low-impact hydroelectric, geothermal, biogas, and wave technology sources.
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