Hanover Becomes First New Hampshire Town to Commit to 100% Renewables
The town of Hanover, New Hampshire voted Tuesday night to establish a goal of transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050. The article approved at Tuesday's town meeting sets a community-wide goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and a 2050 goal of transitioning heating and transportation to run on clean, renewable sources of energy.
Tuesday's vote makes Hanover the 29th city in the country to commit to 100 percent renewable energy and the first in New Hampshire to establish this goal. The vote comes after the Sustainable Hanover Town Committee in December endorsed a transition to 100 percent renewable energy in Hanover for electricity, heat and transportation by 2050. Earlier on Tuesday, the Town of Southampton, New York similarly established a goal to transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
"As town manager for the Town of Hanover, I am overjoyed that the town meeting voted unanimously to support a goal of 100 percent renewable energy," said Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin. "We look forward to working with Sierra Club and Sustainable Hanover to achieve this goal."
Town meetings like Tuesday's Hanover town vote have long been a form of direct democracy across New England. Unlike the other 28 cities and towns that have committed to 100 percent clean energy, however, Hanover represents the first municipality in the U.S. to have a goal of 100 percent renewable energy voted on and approved by the residents of that community.
Tuesday's vote builds on Hanover's growing investment in renewable energy. In 2014, Hanover was named the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's first Green Power Community in New Hampshire. The town is currently at 22 percent renewable electricity through partnerships with Dartmouth College and other businesses and institutions and town residents.
"This is a great day for Hanover. I am so proud to be a resident of Hanover—the first town in New Hampshire to make a commitment to 100% renewable energy and the first municipality in the country to have done it by a vote of its citizenry," said Judith Colla, a member of the Sierra Club Upper Valley's Executive Committee. "I look forward to supporting next steps here in Hanover and helping to spread this campaign to our neighbors throughout the Upper Valley."
Other cities to commit to 100 percent clean and renewable energy include major metropolises like San Diego and Atlanta, along with small towns including Abita Springs, Louisiana and Moab, Utah. Burlington, Vermont is the first city in the U.S. to run entirely on clean, renewable energy.
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.
By Shana Udvardy
After a dearth of action on climate change and a record year of extreme events in 2017, the inclusion of climate change policies within the annual legislation Congress considers to outline its defense spending priorities (the National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2018 was welcome progress. House and Senate leaders pushed to include language that mandated that the Department of Defense (DoD) incorporate climate change in their facility planning (see more on what this section of the bill does here and here) as well as issue a report on the impacts of climate change on military installations. Unfortunately, what DoD produced fell far short of what was mandated.
Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.
Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.