Ohioans are seeing the impacts of climate change more and more. It’s clear that it’s time to act. Unfortunately, we’ve seen years of corruption and roadblocks to clean energy adoption.
For four years, we watched a president make the problem worse, from leaving the Paris Climate Accord to rolling back common sense methane regulations and more. Here in Ohio, we saw lawmakers put corrupt corporate bailouts before the renewable energy future we deserve.
The stakes are too high for more delays. It’s up to us to act. Supporters like you are making that a reality. With the help of OEC’s members, we’ve focused on making positive changes in cities across Ohio.
One way we’re making progress locally on climate change is through a process called community choice aggregation. Aggregation allows communities to negotiate for the power their residents use. This process is now enabling cities across Ohio to negotiate for renewable energy to power homes and small businesses. In November, Columbus passed an aggregation ballot initiative which will provide the city with 100% renewable energy by 2023.
The OEC is providing technical support to more cities gearing up to ask voters to approve aggregation initiatives. Later this year, we’re expecting aggregation initiatives to go before voters in several communities, and we’re excited to help these cities move to cleaner, greener energy.
But the work doesn’t stop with aggregation. In 2020, the OEC helped found Power a Clean Future Ohio (PCFO) to support cities across the state to make meaningful reductions in their carbon emissions. Already, 10 communities have committed to reducing their carbon footprint. Our goal is to help these communities reduce their carbon emissions by 30% of baseline by 2030. We’re working to grow PCFO to 30 cities by the end of 2021.
Additionally, the OEC and PCFO are working to provide a variety of tailored solutions and support to help local leaders make positive changes for the environment. Just recently, we launched two exciting new programs: Equity Coaching and Technical Experts.
We know that climate change is going to impact our black, brown, and low-income neighbors the hardest. The Equity Coaching Program helps match cities to equity coaches to help create just and equitable solutions that center those most impacted by climate change. This will equip cities to identify tailored, equitable solutions to meet their community’s needs.
The Technical Experts Program is connecting cities with outside expertise on the challenges facing their communities. Our technical experts will host “office hours” to support leaders and staff and discuss new ideas. This program is bringing together experts from around Ohio to cover topics like electric vehicle fleets, comprehensive sustainability plans, and energy efficiency benchmarking.
Smart investments now can make our cities cleaner and greener for generations to come. Communities across our state are stepping up to protect our environment in tangible ways. The OEC’s members are helping make this impressive work happen, and we’re looking forward to continuing to make positive changes in cities across Ohio.