Have Greensboro, NC Adopt a Goal of 100% Clean Energy by 2035

Have Greensboro, NC Adopt a Goal of 100% Clean Energy by 2035

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Sonalini Sapra started this petition to The Greensboro City Council

Cities have long been the hotbed of innovation, the drivers of change, and the incubators of solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. Cities powered by 100% clean energy save taxpayer dollars, create new economic structures that include green jobs with livable wages, and foster a better quality of life for all residents.

The world’s climate scientists are clear: we have about 12 years to make a bold comprehensive transition to renewable energy. The Greensboro Solar Power Now Coalition wants Greensboro to join the growing list of over 104 cities nationally that have committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2035. In North Carolina, over 18 cities have made these commitments, and others around the globe have set even more ambitious goals.

Although Greensboro has made slow, steady gains in sustainability, it has no comprehensive action plan to transition to clean energy. Such a plan requires a commitment, supported by a broad array of community stakeholders, to adopt more ambitious short- and long-term measurable goals.The process of bringing a broad array of community stakeholders together to deliberate takes experienced facilitation skills led by paid staff who can organize, collaborate, and create ongoing regular meetings with timelines for results.

We need your support. Below is the Solar Power Now Resolution urging the City of Greensboro to commit to a plan within one year. Please send your personal and/or your organization’s endorsement statement to gsosolarpowernow@gmail.com. And please consider sharing our message with other people and organizations.

 

Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy

Climate Change Risks

The world has to move to zero carbon emissions (or neutral, including carbon offsets) to avoid committing the earth to a global average surface temperature warming of ~2 Centigrade (3.6F) from pre-industrial baselines. The worlds' climate scientists are clear that human induced global warming will need to be drastically reduced by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous results for the world population.

Action Required

To achieve zero carbon emissions, the use of fossil fuels -- oil, coal, and natural gas -- must end, and be replaced by renewable energy sources. Renewable energy includes onshore wind, offshore wind, utility-scale photovoltaics (PV), rooftop PV, concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage, hydroelectric power, geothermal power, wave power, and tidal power.

How to Achieve the Goal

  • The most detailed plan to make this energy transition has been published by researchers at Stanford University.
    • 100% clean and renewable wind, water, and sunlight (WWS) all-sector energy road maps for the 50 United States.
    • This study is the basis of information found here, which includes the outline of a broad plan for North Carolina.
  • A good overview of how to start this process: A practical toolkit for decision-makers to use in pursuing the goal of 100% renewable energy. Prepared by the Global 100% Renewable Energy campaign, an international coalition of . NGO's working towards 100%.
  • How Cities Can Get to 100%: Prepared by Meister Consulting, this guide is designed to help cities plan for a transition towards 100% renewable electricity supply.
  • From NC WARN, a a primer on setting up local plans.

Other Cities in North Carolina

  • Within North Carolina, the following mayors have committed to work towards the goals of the climate goals of the Paris Climate Agreement: Esther Manheimer, Asheville; Allen Joines, Winston Salem; Jennifer Roberts, Charlotte; Bill Bell, Durham; Tom Stevens, Hillsborough; Nancy Vaughan, Greensboro; Lydia Lavelle, Carrboro; Pam Hemminger, Chapel Hill.
  • Within North Carolina, Boone, Orange Country, Hillsborough, and Buncombe County have made commitments to 100% renewables. Raleigh, Wake County, and Durham County are working toward similar commitments.

Creating a Task Force of Community Stakeholders

WHEREAS, the City of Greensboro is committed to fighting climate change and to protecting Greensboro residents from the effects of climate change and air pollution as stated in a recently adopted resolution supporting a federal carbon fee and dividend;

WHEREAS, the Mayor of Greensboro has endorsed both the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, and more recently, the national Mayors for 100% Agreement, which is also supported by more than 100 other mayors who want to power their communities entirely with renewable energy and transition to 100% clean energy;

WHEREAS, throughout the state, communities have seen the benefits that clean energy brings by creating green jobs and cleaner air and water;

WHEREAS, the City of Greensboro recognizes that protecting our natural resources, promoting conservation, and improving the environment is fundamentally important to the quality of life of all of its citizens and essential to maintaining a vibrant economy;

WHEREAS, the City of Greensboro is practicing environmental stewardship in City operations and seeking and supporting collaborative and regional solutions to environmental problems;

WHEREAS, investing in renewable energy will improve social mobility and economic advancement

and further the City of Greensboro's technological hubs, encourage the growth of the renewable industry, and create jobs here and across the state;

WHEREAS, the City of Greensboro can get 100% of its energy from clean, renewable sources by harnessing our abundant renewable resources, and investing and supporting the innovations in energy conservation, energy efficiency, green transportation, energy storage, and other technologies; and

WHEREAS, to reach its goal, the City will need a broad-based, diverse task force with stakeholders from business, academic, civic, neighborhood and faith sectors to develop an action plan.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF GREENSBORO THAT:

The City of Greensboro commits to the goal of 100% clean, renewable energy for all energy needs by 2035, to avoid climate catastrophe and to promote job creation and economic growth.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT officials and staff will consider all municipal decisions in light of whether they will bring the City and its residents, businesses, and institutions closer to 100% renewable energy and ensure that the benefits of renewable energy are realized by Greensboro City residents from all walks of life by 2035 or sooner.

AND BE IT ALSO FURTHER RESOLVED THAT an independent task force is hereby created consisting of at least nine members with broad representation from community stakeholders, appointed by the Mayor with City Council approval, to serve for one year, during which time they will draft an action plan for how the City will achieve its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035. This task force will be created within three months and will report its progress at least quarterly to the Community Sustainability Council, the City Manager, and the City Council. The task force will receive staff support from appropriate City departments and overall support from the City Manager's office.

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