Climate activist organization strives for 10-year clean energy plan in Savannah

Our Changing Climate

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Climate Reality Project of Coastal Georgia is working to make Savannah operate on 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030.

“We’re a small city, our impact would be small but it would be an impact. And the key is to link up with all the other cities and regions around the world that are doing the same thing. And we can’t wait for the federal government,” Kevin Ionno of the 100% Savannah Coalition said.

Atlanta, Athens-Clarke County, and Augusta all have committed to the resolution, and the 100% Savannah Coalition wants to match their effort by passing the resolution early this year.

Mayor Van Johnson, Nick Palumbo, Linda Wilder Bryan and most of the other newly elected members of the Savannah City Council say they are behind the resolution. But Ionno says even though passing the resolution is the next step, it can’t stop there.

“You can pass a resolution and everybody can pat each other on the back and say ‘Aren’t we great?’ But then you’ve got to develop a plan,” Ionno said.

The Coalition of Concerned Scientists say that change needs to be made in the next 12 years on a global scale — or there will be devastating repercussions.

“You have to have hope to carry on. The situation is dire but we can mitigate it if the world gets on the ball and gets it done in another 10 or 11 years,” Ionno said.

He says the ways that we build our energy are not sustainable because we rely on fossil fuels. The resolution largely involves switching to solar, wind and hydropower.

But it comes down to every citizen making a conscious effort.

“It’s a global problem. As one young person, that’s really intimidating,” Georgia Southern Student and Climate Activist Maddi Foster said. “But like I said just doing small actions and reaching out to people really makes an impact.”

She says there are a few simple ways you can make a difference by reducing your carbon footprint.

Limiting single-use plastics, purchasing reusable bags, making sure your home is well-insulated, carpooling, riding your bike instead of driving, and eating local, in-season produce are just a few ways to do your part.

Foster also emphasized the importance of reaching out to your local alderman to let them know you support the 100% clean Savannah resolution.

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