As a chemical engineer, I can say climate change is a decades-long pandemic that we must meet and master today or we will suffer through endless tomorrows. We must expand our environmental policy out of its silo and into every part of our city. The only way to truly combat climate change is for it to reach into all facets of our government.
1. Achieve 100% Clean Energy by 2035
- Incentivize sustainable development and redevelopment
- Institute solar bulk purchasing programs
- Develop a clean energy workforce training program
- Provide free public transit by 2030
- Increase supply of diverse housing options
- Reduce the energy burden on 10 percent of most overburdened Atlanta households.
2. Protect Atlanta’s Tree Canopy
- Support a new Tree Protection Ordinance to help protect our tree canopy and “City in the Forest”
- Work with Department of City Planning to balance out economic development while maintaining tree canopy
- Work with organizations like Trees Atlanta, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, and Chattahoochee Riverkeepers
- Encourage amenity-driven, transit-oriented, mixed-income projects
- We have space for growth without infringing on the tree canopy
- Add housing and mixed-use/mixed-income development in underserved areas
WHY CLEAN ENERGY?
1. Clean Energy can advance equity
We can advance equity through increased deployment of clean energy because it –
- Reduces energy burdens by lowering utility bills and stabilizing energy costs
- Improves financial stability by providing entrepreneurship and thriving wage job opportunities
- Reduces harmful carbon emissions that pollute our air
- Promotes economic development and building community wealth
2. Clean Energy means lower bills
- Atlanta experiences energy burdens 25% higher than the national average.
- We know that clean energy investments like weatherization, energy efficiency, rooftop solar and community microgrids work.
- Investments like weatherization can reduce the low-income energy burden by at least 25 percent.
- Energy efficiency and solar energy creates healthier home environments and can stabilize energy costs for working families, senior citizens, and low-wealth communities.
3. Clean energy means new, good paying jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities
- Weatherization, energy efficiency, rooftop solar and community microgrids are job creation and small business development opportunities.
- Clean energy jobs paid 25% more than the national median wage in 2019 and were more likely to include health care and retirement benefits – https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2020/10/clean-energy-job-wages-higher-than-national-median-report-finds
- Affordable housing and transit champion
- Voted for Clean Energy Atlanta
- Created the Beltline Inclusionary Zoning plan
- Created the City’s Department of Transportation
- Led efforts to rehab and weatherize 100 senior homes
- Voted for Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge
- Supported West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Proctor Creek
- Supported local black farmers