Linden Neighborhood Conversation

Robin Davis
Director of Media Relations
614.645.2425
rcdavis@columbus.gov

Melanie Crabill
Communications Manager
614.645.5300
mjcrabill@columbus.gov

Media Advisory
News Date: November 16, 2020

Columbus Celebrates Sustainability Accomplishments: Issue 1 Win and Top Environment Rating From International Organization

Two developments are keeping the City of Columbus as a national and regional leader in sustainability.

The City of Columbus is celebrating overwhelming voter approval of Issue 1 in the recent November election, enabling the City to move forward with establishing an opt-out community-choice aggregation powered 100% by clean, renewable energy. The city is also celebrating an “A” rating from the Carbon Disclosure Project, an international organization that ranks cities and companies on their sustainability efforts.

These actions are evidence of the priority Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther has placed on climate action in order to protect our local environment and to keep city neighborhoods strong and vibrant.

“The results of the election are clear – clean energy, addressing climate change and its ability to impact public health and so many aspects of our daily life - matters to the people of Columbus.” Mayor Ginther said. “Now we get to work on implementing and delivering on an Ohio-based, 100% clean energy aggregation program.”

On Nov. 3, Columbus voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 1 with about 76 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns from the Franklin County Board of Elections. 

Passage of the issue gives the City the authority to implement an opt-out electric community-choice aggregation program. The City has committed to the program being powered by 100 percent clean, renewable energy sources by 2022, which will help the city reduce greenhouse gas production that can contribute to climate change.

“While Ohio’s state legislature continues to impede the growth of the renewable energy sector, local cities and communities like Columbus are stepping up to lead the way,” said Randi Leppla, VP of Energy Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund. “Thanks to Columbus voters, we’re now one step closer to 100% renewable energy, cleaner air and cleaner water, and a healthier future for all who call this great city home. We look forward to working with the city through the public hearing process to complete the aggregation plan.” 

 

The next step for the City in the implementation process is to become a certified governmental aggregator with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, and to approve a Governance and Operations Plan for the program that will be filed with the PUCO. Columbus City Council will hold two virtual public hearings on the Governance and Operations Plan, as well as next steps in the aggregation process at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17 and 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 19.

In addition to Issue 1 passing, the City of Columbus is celebrating its “A” rating from CDP Global for its sustainability efforts and its work to stem climate change. CDP Global is an international organization that works to encourage companies and governments to reduce carbon emissions. In 2019, 105 cities worldwide made the “A” list.

To score an “A,” a city must have a city-wide emissions inventory, have set an emissions reduction target, have published a climate action plan and completed a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards now and into the future.

Columbus has been recognized for its actions to develop robust climate change strategies, to track and limit and reduce emissions, to assess and mitigate climate risks and to report this information in its disclosures to CDP.

View the CDP Report here: https://www.cdp.net/en/cities/cities-scores

Mayor Ginther has set an ambitious goal for the Columbus community to be carbon neutral by 2050. To do so, the city continues to develop a Climate Action Plan to guide the city and Columbus community in this effort. This plan is expected to be done by summer of 2021 and is currently gathering community input and feedback. 

For more information on the development of this plan, and how you can get involved, please click here: https://www.columbus.gov/sustainable/cap/.