City pushes for engagement in sustainability plan

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah leaders are calling on engagement from community members as the Hostess City works towards its 100 percent renewable energy resolution.

The plan, unanimously approved by city council members in March of 2020, is in the community engagement process. It aims to create 100 percent renewable, safe and clean energy for the city by 2035, followed by all other energy resources in 2050.

Nick Deffley, Savannah’s Office of Sustainability director, said they are focusing on front line communities, youth groups and local and commercial businesses for outreach efforts.

“How do we make sure that as we move forward towards cleaner energy and more efficient energy, that it’s something that all Savannahians, regardless of color, socioeconomic status or otherwise, can all benefit from,” Deffley said.

City leaders say community feedback is essential for a plan that makes sense for the city and has a long-term sustainable impact.

“It’s a very ambitious goal. It was a community-based effort that pushed this to the forefront, and that same community is here with us, helping continue to grow this movement, push it out and really get everyone involved in it; and that’s what it’s going to take,” Deffley explained.

The executive director for Harambee House Citizens for Environmental Justice said without stepping up and getting involved, some communities will continue to face environmental inequality.

“Like the Greater West Savannah, like Hudson Hill, like Woodville. We have to look out for those vulnerable populations because through research, we know one of the highest causes of absenteeism in Chatham County schools is asthma, and asthma is directly related to pollution,” Dr. Mildred McClain added.

City officials are in the process of switching out some city cars for electric vehicles. They are hoping to have a final draft of the sustainability plan by June.

To join a focus group or fill out their sustainability survey, visit HERE.

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