SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Proponents of a resolution to push the Hostess City toward a more sustainable future celebrated a huge victory Thursday night.
Mayor Van Johnson and city council members voted unanimously during a teleconference meeting to pass the 100% Savannah clean energy resolution.
It commits Savannah to fully transition to clean and renewable energy by 2035.
The vote means Savannah is now the fifth city in Georgia to do so, joining Athens, Atlanta, Augusta and Clarkston.
Those who have worked for several months to bring the resolution to the forefront say they’re thrilled about the vote’s outcome.
“I’m so proud of our city, of the city council and the mayor for supporting this so strongly, and the credit is really due to the hard work of a number of community residents and organizations around the state who really came together,” Nick Deffley, City of Savannah’s environmental services and sustainability director, told WSAV.com NOW.
Deffley is one of several city leaders passionate about the goals outlined in the resolution.
He says over the next 18 months, he and other leaders will work to develop a comprehensive transition plan that involves the entire community.
“This is not just a City of Savannah effort, this is going to be a community effort,” Deffley said. “Everyone, all of our residents will have a part to play, and this is not something the city can do by ourselves. We need all hands on deck, this is an ambitious goal, but together we can do it.”
Kevin Ionno, chair of the Climate Reality Project, thanked the city government leaders for pushing the resolution forward.
“The new city council and mayor are very progressive, they’re forward-looking, and my hat’s off to them for unanimously voting on this resolution,” he told WSAV.com NOW.
The Center for a Sustainable Coast’s assistant director, Karen Grainey, hopes that with Savannah taking action to reduce negative environmental impacts and its contribution to climate change, other coastal communities will step up to the plate.
“This is a good start, to have the biggest city on the coast take this step,” Grainey said.