Athens is the fourth city in Georgia to commit to a 100% clean energy plan.
On Tuesday, the Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Commission unanimously voted to adopt the goal of 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2035.
With the vote, Athens joins Atlanta, Augusta and Clarkston in the commitment to move away from energy sources that have a detrimental impact on the environment.
“Whether it’s increasingly severe droughts or extreme storms the impacts of climate change are not just future threats -- they’re already here; This bold goal will help ensure that Athens joins cities and states across the country in the fight for a cleaner and safer environment for generations to come,” said Cary Ritzler, the Director of Environment Georgia’s 100% Athens Project in a statement.
ACC currently uses about 15% clean and renewable energy. The approved plan calls for ACC to meet 100 % of its energy needs from clean and renewable energy sources produced on‐or‐for Unified Government properties by 2035. By 2050 ACC will generate 60 percent of its renewable energy locally.
The larger community of Athens-Clarke County will get 100% of its electricity needs from clean and renewable sources by 2035 while all other energy needs such as transportation will be met by 100% clean and renewable energy sources by 2050.
The new approach is also designed to address historical inequities that have resulted in many households in Athens-Clarke County spending an above average percentage of their monthly income on electricity.
Over the past decade, six cities have accomplished the goal of shifting to 100% clean, renewable energy including Aspen, Colorado; Georgetown, Texas; Greensburg, Kansas; Burlington, Vermont; Kodiak Island, Alaska; and Rock Port, Missouri.
In March, Atlanta passed a clean energy plan considered to be one of the most comprehensive plans in the Southeast making it a case study for cities across the state planning their own transitions.
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