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Contact Info 90 West Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215


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Fighting for Our Future Generations

Columbus City Council Speaks Out Against Paris Climate Agreement Decision

Federal leadership made a decision against protecting our environment by announcing the United States would exit the Paris Climate Agreement. The accord is an agreement among 195 countries that addresses greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance beginning in 2020.

Despite the decision to leave the agreement, Columbus City Council will continue to fight to preserve environmental safeguards and grow the renewable energy economy.

"The stakes for a healthy environment couldn't be higher. The City of Columbus will continue to lead on this issue to ensure clean air and clean water now and for future generations," said Council President Zach Klein. "Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement is clearly devastating to the environment, but it also jeopardizes future job opportunities for Columbus workers."

The “Columbus Way” of private/public partnerships has shown leadership in waste reduction and conservation. Here are a few examples:

  • As part of the Smart City Challenge Grant, the City was awarded up to $10 million from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through four priority areas: grid modernization, charging infrastructure, consumer adoption of electric vehicles and incorporation of electric vehicles in private and public fleets.
  • The GreenSpot program encourages businesses to adopt practices that conserve water and energy, reduce waste and promote green transportation. Currently, there are nearly 1,000 GreenSpot business members and 14,000 GreenSpot households.
  • The Columbus Region Energy Fund is a financing mechanism that allows Columbus area businesses and non-profits to improve the energy efficiency of facilities resulting in lower costs in utility bills. This City project, partnered with AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas, encourages businesses to become more energy efficient by providing tools and rebates.

“Left unchecked, climate change will negatively impact almost every aspect of our lives. It is an economic issue that will cause massive damage to our infrastructure,” said Councilmember Elizabeth Brown, chair of the Environment Committee. “It is a health issue that will harm our most vulnerable populations. And it is a moral issue that will leave the earth a worse place for our children.”

City Council will continue to support several programs that promote environmental stewardship throughout communities. Programs including: 

  • The Green Fleet Action Plan works diligently to reduce the overall carbon footprint of City vehicles and maintenance. Additionally, its facility has one of the largest solar arrays in the state installed on the roof. 
  • Blueprint Columbus focuses on green solutions to resolve stormwater runoff issues. The City is building green infrastructure including rain gardens to offset the runoff in a more environmentally sustainable manner instead of digging additional tunnels.
  • Branch Out Columbus has a goal to plant 300,000 trees by 2020 and hosted numerous tree giveaways over the last two years.  Additionally, the Glass Act program has worked with over 30 bars and restaurants downtown to recycle more than 600 tons of glass to date.

“The City of Columbus will continue to pursue green energy innovation and infrastructure that drive sustainable growth and create high-quality jobs. President Trump’s decision to walk away from the Paris Climate Agreement hurts our local efforts and minimizes our ability to be a global leader in the field,” Brown continued.