On Thursday, February 6, the Louisville Metro Council Parks and Sustainability Committee approved a resolution establishing a goal of powering the city’s municipal operations with 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035 and community-wide by 2040. Louisville becomes the first city in Kentucky and 160th nationwide to make this commitment.
Coal has long been a backbone of Kentucky’s economy, but Louisville and other communities across the state are taking the lead in transitioning toward cleaner, healthier, more affordable renewable energy.
For nearly 10 years, Louisville has made steady progress towards reducing its carbon footprint. In 2016, Mayor Fischer signed the Global Covenant of Mayors, thereby committing to cut emissions and prepare for climate change impacts. The city has completed the required steps of doing a community greenhouse gas inventory and setting an emissions reduction target. Transitioning to 100% renewable energy will significantly accelerate this progress.
Impassioned speeches both for and against the resolution were made at the Metro Council meeting on Thursday. But the final vote of 15-4 highlights that Louisville is ready to tackle the challenge of climate change head on and with visionary leadership.
“Those of us who have been working for over a year and a half to get this resolution passed are more than thrilled. We are thankful to the 15 forward-thinking, passionate councilpersons who passed this Resolution last night; they are leading Louisville into a carbon-free future where everyone can thrive,” said Drew Foley, chair of Greater Louisville Sierra Club.
“I could not be more pleased with the outcome. My hope is that Louisville’s accomplishment will become a model for cities throughout Kentucky and an impetus for changes in state policy…policy that has hampered climate change progress far too long,” said Nancy Givens, member of Renewable Energy Alliance of Louisville, who had a leading role in drafting the resolution.
The full list of U.S. cities with 100% renewable energy commitments can be viewed here.
News item from The Sierra Club