While Georgia faces its fair share of environmental challenges, we have also taken significant strides in certain areas and are considered a leader in specific environmental initiatives. Georgia is becoming a hub for electric vehicle and solar panel manufacturing. Policies such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have benefited the state of Georgia by providing advanced manufacturing production credits to support solar, wind and battery component manufacturers. South Korean company QCells took advantage of the policy by opening their first U.S.-based facility in North Georgia. Not only that, but Georgia is home to the United States’ newest nuclear reactor, Plant Vogtle Unit 3.
Georgia’s picturesque natural environment and the strides in emissions reductions make Georgia the perfect place for a new environmental movement, focused on optimism, actionable solutions and, most importantly, people.
That’s why Atlanta is now home to the newest branch of the American Conservation Coalition (ACC). At our kickoff event in late June held in partnership with America’s Future, more than 60 young professionals and partners from around the city gathered to talk about the importance of local action in our communities and what to expect from ACC in Atlanta. Georgia was the perfect place for our kickoff because the state has already proved itself a leader in innovation and market-based solutions.
ACC is different from other environmental organizations in many ways, but chiefly because we come from a conservative point of view. We don’t believe that the idea of environmental conservation should be partisan, and we work to engage more conservatives in crucial environmental discussions. Fellow ACC members believe in the power of innovation for American-made clean energy, streamlining burdensome government regulations that hold climate action back and conserving the natural spaces that made America so beautiful.
In practice, this means we prioritize community action – as demonstrated by our first event here in Atlanta – to fuel our work. Through clean-ups, tree plantings, ecosystem restoration, and more, ACC activists aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Working within the natural environment we’re committed to protect fuels our advocacy on the national stage. In the past, ACC members have advocated on behalf of our national parks, nuclear energy, natural solutions like planting trees, regenerative agriculture, and other key climate technologies like carbon capture.
Here in Atlanta, we have three main priorities for our work: local action, advocacy, and conservation education. Through these avenues, we hope to encourage individuals to make a real difference in their local communities. We plan to have a variety of events, including clean-ups at parks throughout the city, educational events with other nonprofits and lawmakers in the state, and opportunities to advocate for common-sense solutions. Georgia is ready for this new environmental movement.
Lily Moll, based in Tennessee, is the Southern Regional Director at the American Conservation Coalition. Preston Poag Jr., a Georgia native, is the leader of the ACC Atlanta Branch. For more information, email email@example.com.