Mayor Andre Dickens and Atlanta’s Chief Sustainability Officer Chandra Farley announced Friday that the “Clean Energy Advisory Board” is being relaunched to help the city increase its use of clean energy and reduce its climate change impact.
The panel was initially established in 2020 under then-Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms after City Council approved a roadmap for the city to source 100% of its electricity from such clean energy sources as solar by 2035. But the board stopped meeting in 2022, while the city searched for a new Chief Sustainability Officer.
Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability and Resiliency previously drew praise for having one of the Southeast’s most aggressive climate plans, but an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year found that under past City Hall administrations, the office had been gutted by staff departures and leadership changes.
Dickens said in a news release that the worsening impacts of climate change — which is intensifying heat waves and supercharging the destructive potential of tropical storms — means the city must speed up its transition to renewable energy. The board’s revival also comes after Democrats in Congress passed President Joe Biden’s signature climate law last year, which includes an unprecedented raft of clean energy incentives and resilience funding for local governments.
The revamped board will include 25 members from various public, private and non-profit institutions who will serve two-year terms. Six of the seats are reserved for members of underserved communities in Southwest Atlanta, where residents use a oversized share of their monthly earnings to cover energy costs, the city said.
“Like many of our efforts in Atlanta, reaching these clean energy milestones is a group project, which is why the community-led Clean Energy Advisory Board will play a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions and building more sustainable and climate resilient communities,” Dickens said in a news release.
The board will make recommendations to the city to help it meet it its clean energy targets and will establish several working groups focused on issues like climate impacts, affordable housing, energy costs and transportation.
Meetings will be held quarterly and over the next year, the board will help the city develop a Sustainability and Climate Resilience Plan that is expected to launch in 2024.
A note of disclosure
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