Emily Bacha, Communications Director, February 13, 2020
Columbus, OH — Today, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced exciting climate initiatives at his State of the City address. These initiatives include a city commitment to go renewable by 2022 through a ballot initiative where Columbus residents can vote to combine their energy purchasing power as well as a commitment that city operations will go carbon neutral by 2050.
The following statement can be attributed to Heather Taylor-Miesle, Executive Director for the Ohio Environmental Council:
“The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) applauds the Mayor’s focus on environmental justice and equity. We look forward to working with the City of Columbus to achieve city-wide carbon reductions and to fight climate change so that all citizens in central Ohio are protected from its impacts.
“In tonight’s State of the City address Mayor Ginther made it clear that Columbus takes the need for action on climate change very seriously, and that he is leading the charge on improving Columbus’s environment in several ways. The Mayor acknowledged that those most impacted by climate change are the most vulnerable in our community and we applaud his focus on fighting against climate change in order to protect all Columbus residents. At a time when our state legislature is rolling back important policies like energy efficiency, which impact low income residents the most, Mayor Ginther’s announcement to address environmental injustices is a breath of fresh air.”
100% Renewable by 2022 & Community Choice Aggregation: Mayor Ginther announced plans for Columbus to go 100% renewable by 2022 through Community Choice Aggregation. Columbus voters will have the opportunity to approve a ballot initiative in November 2020, which will allow the city to use this bulk purchasing tool to invest big in clean, renewable power. Columbus is the largest city in the state that has yet to aggregate, and the City of Columbus’s commitment to renewables will ensure a sustainable future for central Ohio. The Mayor’s plan goes beyond just a symbolic gesture of setting a renewable energy target; key details in the announcement indicate that the CCA plan will ensure that Columbus residents and businesses will reap the economic benefits that solar, wind and energy efficiency can bring to the community.
Carbon Neutral by 2050: Mayor Ginther also announced plans to ensure the operations of the city of Columbus are carbon neutral by 2050. This effort will amplify and expand the city’s prior work to install solar on city-owned buildings, and is an important step toward ensuring a sustainable future for Columbus.