Energy Efficiency, Commercial, Sourcing Renewables - April 1, 2020
Savannah commits to 100% clean energy transition by 2035
The city council of Savannah, Ga., unanimously adopted a resolution March 26 to pursue a community-wide goal of 100% renewable electricity before 2035.
The decision makes Savannah the fifth city in Georgia to pursue a policy of lowering their carbon footprint, Savannah Morning News reported. Under the resolution, the city commits to developing a clean-action plan within 18 months and setting interim goals of achieving 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
“Our residents suffer from traffic-related air pollution from land and maritime sources,” Mildred McClain, executive director of the Harambee House/ Citizens for Environmental Justice, wrote in a letter that was read during the meeting. “This resolution will place Savannah on a path to eliminate diesel emissions and reduce our carbon footprint. This will lead to a clean and healthy world for our children’s children’s children.”
Currently, 6% of the city’s electricity comes from renewable sources. Municipal buildings will be the first to be evaluated for clean energy opportunities, and then the transition in private residences and businesses will take priority. The March 26 city council meeting also included a discussion of using funds from Congress’s COVID-19 stimulus package to pursue clean energy projects.
The resolution also states that eliminating transportation-related carbon emissions will be pursued with a deadline of 2050.
A coalition of organizations dedicated to encouraging such initiatives in the city launched in February and contributed public support for the resolution. The 100% Savannah Clean Energy Initiative Coalition members include Environment Georgia, the Harambee House, Center for a Sustainable Coast, Dogwood Alliance, The Green Team at the Unitarian Universalist Church, and the Climate Reality Project Coastal Georgia Chapter, as well as businesses and students.