Atlanta City Council unanimously approved a measure Monday establishing a community-wide goal of transitioning 100 percent to renewable energy by 2035.
The legislation was introduced by city councilman Kwanza Hall, who is also a candidate for Atlanta mayor.
“We know that moving to clean energy will create good jobs, clean up our air and water and lower our residents’ utility bills,” Hall said after the vote. “We never thought we’d be away from landline phones or desktop computers, but today we carry our smartphones around and they’re more powerful than anything we used to have. We have to set an ambitious goal or we’re never going to get there.”
The Atlanta Office of Sustainability has been directed to develop a plan by January 2018 to meet the 100 percent renewable energy goal across all city operations by 2025 and community-wide by 2035.
Georgia’s capital and most populous city is following in the footsteps of 26 other municipalities across the U.S. that have announced similar renewable energy goals, including large cities such as San Diego, Salt Lake City and Chicago. Notably, a number of U.S. cities—Aspen, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; Greensburg, Kansas; Kodiak Island, Alaska; and Rockport, Missouri—have already hit their clean energy targets.
Atlanta is the largest city in the U.S. South to set this ambitious commitment, which “will create good local jobs for Atlanta residents, reduce air pollution and associated public health risks, reduce the strain on water resources and save consumers money,” the measure states.