A just and equitable transition to 100% clean renewable energy is a broad and transformational endeavor that requires infrastructural, economic and social changes created for and by our community. Equity in the context of climate justice means a redistribution of resources in a way that is fair for all communities that must adapt to climate change; and equitable strategies must be developed to simultaneously redresses historical inequities that have left marginalized communities most vulnerable to climate change effects and prepares the community as a whole to transition to climate readiness and a clean renewable economy. This requires collaboration between local groups, governing bodies, organizations and neighborhoods. Our vision encompasses:
a robust, climate-ready infrastructure throughout the county
affordable, good quality and energy efficient housing for all residents
equitable access for all to resources, jobs and other economic opportunities
growth and development of local renewable energy jobs and training programs
dependable, resilient and efficient community networks prepared to respond to climate change events with disaster recovery assistance plans
a clean, well-sustained, and healthy environment and community
community-wide civic engagement that holds local governing bodies and officials accountable
a local government that is responsive to its citizens concerns and challenges
an Athens that supports, nurtures and celebrates diversity in the understanding that it is essential for our collective ability to not only survive, but to thrive!
Our mission is to ensure that Athens-Clarke County transitions to a clean and sustainable , zero-carbon future; and that this transition includes 100% of the community in a way that prioritizes our most vulnerable and under-served members. We are working towards this with continual community outreach, education and empowerment on one hand; and by advocating for appropriate and effective local policy on the other.
Our plan will evolve with community input and currently includes the creation of net zero buildings; retrofitting housing in low-income neighborhoods for energy efficiency and renewable energy utilization; electrifying our local ACC bus fleet; establishing resource & resiliency networks in our community; developing a "green jobs" pipeline; influencing local energy policy to be written and implemented equitably; and creating incentives, such as carbon offset programs, for private residents and businesses to transition to 100% clean renewable energy usage by 2035.
From its earliest phases, the planning and implementation of our plan is to be shaped by and for Athens-Clarke County communities and groups in a process that incorporates continual community outreach, with the transition of marginalized communities identified as most vulnerable to the effects of climate change our first priority.
The road map to this transition plan includes:
i) the passage of a Clean & Renewable Energy Resolution by our county;
ii) the establishment of a 100% Athens Citizens Equity Committee, formed by members of our community and which centers and amplifies the voices the voices of historically oppressed and under-served members of our community and help to shape equitable energy plans and policies;
ii) the creation of a Renewable Energy Transition Plan that includes extensive community outreach, overseen by the Citizens Equity Committee;
iv) early investment by the county using a portion of a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) to make government buildings, low-income communities, and public transportation energy efficient;
v) securing funding for the plan’s continued implementation from all available sources including the Educational Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (ESPLOST);
vi) maintaining pressure and momentum on local energy policy makers until we realize our vision.