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/.