On May 1, Atlanta’s City Council pledged to power the city of nearly one-half million completely through renewable energy by 2035. While this may seem like a lofty goal, Atlanta is actually the 27th city in the U.S. to make such a pledge, according to the Sierra Club. San Francisco has pledged to do so by 2030, San Diego by 2035 and Salt Lake City by 2032. Six cities, including Aspen, Colo., Burlington, Vt. and Columbia, Md., have already achieved it. In addition to these population centers, 29 U.S. states have been active in adopting Renewable Portfolio Standards and targets as well.
About 70 percent of the world’s population is estimated to live in cities by 2050, the year the Sierra Club sets as the target for cities to achieve energy independence. Reducing cities’ reliance on fossil fuels by 2050 would drastically curb our impact on global warming. But the impact is on more than just the environment. Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who introduced the city’s renewable energy pledge, touts it as an important tool for job creation and a cost-savings measure for residents’ utility bills, in addition to having cleaner air and water.
Kyle Goehring, Vice President and National Director of JLL’s Clean Energy, which is a specialty in the firm’s Energy Sustainability Services, points out that the cities—and states—who have these goals will often turn to corporate America to follow suit.… Read More