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Atlanta Becomes 27th City to Commit to 100% Renewables
The legislation was introduced by city councilman Kwanza Hall, who is also a candidate for Atlanta mayor.
"We know that moving to clean energy will create good jobs, clean up our air and water and lower our residents' utility bills," Hall said after the vote. "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. We have to set an ambitious goal or we're never going to get there."
The Atlanta Office of Sustainability has been directed to develop a plan by January 2018 to meet the 100 percent renewable energy goal across all city operations by 2025 and community-wide by 2035.
Georgia's capital and most populous city is following in the footsteps of 26 other municipalities across the U.S. that have announced similar renewable energy goals, including large cities such as San Diego, Salt Lake City and Chicago. Notably, a number of U.S. cities—Aspen, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; Greensburg, Kansas; Kodiak Island, Alaska; and Rockport, Missouri—have already hit their clean energy targets.
Atlanta is the largest city in the U.S. South to set this ambitious commitment, which "will create good local jobs for Atlanta residents, reduce air pollution and associated public health risks, reduce the strain on water resources and save consumers money," the measure states.
Ted Terry, director of the Sierra Club's Georgia Chapter, applauded the city council's vote.
"Just days after hundreds of thousands marched for climate action across the globe, city leaders here in Atlanta are answering the call," Terry said in a statement.
"Cities like Atlanta must lead the way in confronting the threat of climate change and accelerating the transition to 100 percent clean energy. Today's commitment will inspire bold, ambitious leadership from cities throughout the United States and pave the way for a healthier and stronger Atlanta."
Atlanta, as well as the state of Georgia, has taken commendable strides in the renewable energy sector, the Sierra Club pointed out. Citing data from the Department of Energy, solar makes up the largest share of Georgia energy generation jobs. 5,261 people in Georgia have clean energy jobs compared to 2,535 in the fossil fuels industries. And, according to Shining Cities 2017 report by Environment America, Atlanta ranks 40th out of the 50 most populous U.S. cities in solar photovoltaic installations.
As EcoWatch mentioned previously, The Solutions Project, which aims to make clean energy accessible and affordable for all, is advocating for towns, cities, states and even the whole country to convert its energy infrastructure to renewables.
The Solutions Project team published a study and roadmap that illustrates how each U.S. state can replace fossil fuels by tapping into the renewable resources they have available, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, as well as small amounts of tidal and wave power.
The authors found that converting the nation's energy infrastructure into renewables is ideal because it helps fight climate change, saves lives by eliminating air pollution, creates jobs in the rapidly booming renewable energy sector and also stabilizes energy prices.
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Editor's note: The coronavirus that started in Wuhan has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed at least 100 in China as of Jan. 27, 2020. Thailand and Hong Kong each have reported eight confirmed cases, and five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness. People are hoping for a vaccine to slow the spread of the disease.
By Nancy Schimelpfening
- Nutrition experts say healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time.
- Treats like cookies can be eaten in moderation.
- Information like total calories, saturated fat, and added sugars can be used to compare which foods are relatively healthier.
- However, it's also important to savor and enjoy what you're eating so you don't feel deprived.
Yes, we know. Cookies aren't considered a "healthy" food by any stretch of the imagination.
When you see an actor in handcuffs, they're usually filming a movie. But when Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, Sally Field, and other celebrities were arrested in Washington, D.C., last fall, the only cameras rolling were from the news media.
As the Pacific Ocean becomes more acidic, Dungeness crabs, which live in coastal areas, are seeing their shells eaten away, according to a new study commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).