The Good, the Bad, the Possibilities: Local Energy
This is the sixth article in our 8-part series of weekly blog posts called "The Good, the Bad, the Possibilities". For this series, we are asking local experts three questions to give you a quick overview of recent local trends and solutions with respect to a range of important issues that affect our community's sustainability. This week’s topic is energy, and our featured experts are Mike Davis, Director of Membership for the NC Sustainable Energy Association, and Joel Olsen, CEO of O2 emc.
How energy and growth are impacting climate change + what you can do
In a discussion of sustainability, climate change is the elephant in the room. That’s why our July Grow Smart CLT panel discussion was all about energy and climate change.
Over 100 people filled the brew room at Three Spirits Brewery for the panel discussion, where our three panelists shared their perspective of potential solutions to our energy and climate challenges in the Greater Charlotte region, as well as their take-home advice for how attendees can make a difference on this issue. Here’s what they had to say.
Victory: Charlotte City Council Unanimously Passes Resolution for a “Sustainable and Resilient” Charlotte
On June 25th, the Charlotte City Council unanimously passed the resolution for a “Sustainable and Resilient” Charlotte. This is a comprehensive resolution that calls for the city government to source 100% of its energy used in its own buildings and fleet from zero-carbon sources by 2030. It also creates an action plan for dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors by 2050.
With this move, Charlotte has taken a major step in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and significantly increase the quality of life for residents by investing in our air quality and growing our economy with green jobs.
Charlotte City Council Environment Committee Passes Sustainable Energy Resolution
At their June 4 meeting, the Charlotte City Council Environment Committee passed a comprehensive resolution that, among many things, calls for the city to source 100% of its energy used in its buildings and fleet from zero carbon sources by 2030.
Charlotte City Council Environment Committee Looks at Plan for Low Carbon Future
The Charlotte City Council Environment Committee is working on a plan to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Charlotte.
Solar panels atop IKEA in Charlotte (Photo credit: https://www.businesswire.com)Read more
Sustain Charlotte partners with Livable Meck and IKEA on food waste events
Did you know that the average American household spends $1,500 on food that ends up uneaten? Sustain Charlotte recently partnered with Livable Meck to co-host a workshop on the topic of food waste and sustainability.
Our program director Meg Fencil explains the connection between food waste, sustainability, and equity.
Household expenses, health, and environment
The median Charlotte household spends 29% of their income on housing and another 22% on transportation. For many households, food is their third-highest expense. When a large percentage of that food is wasted, it places an extra financial strain on the household. That means less money is available for other household needs.
Denada Jackson from Solid Waste Services and David Valder from Crown Town Compost educated the audience about the environmental and health impacts of excessive food waste. When food and other organic material decomposes in the landfill, it generates methane, which is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. However, when food is composted and decomposes in the presence of oxygen, it generates carbon dioxide instead of methane. In other words: a composted banana has a much smaller carbon footprint than a landfilled banana.Read more
Charlotte City Council Environment Committee Will Create Sustainable Energy Action Plan
At their first meeting of 2018, the City Council Environment Committee focused their attention on the Clean Energy Resolution that came before the full council in November 2017. The resolution is an aspirational commitment to the goal of 100 percent clean, renewable energy for all energy sectors by 2050. In November, the full council referred the resolution back to the Environment Committee in order to include goals and an action plan. The scope of the plan is to include all energy usage, including transportation, within Charlotte City boundaries, not simply energy used for city operations.
Photo credit: Michael ZytkowRead more
Sustain Charlotte joins call for wise use of Volkswagen Mitigation Trust funds
Sustain Charlotte joined with Southern Environmental Law Center, the NC Conservation Network, Clean Air Carolina, and WakeUP Wake County to submit a letter outlining our suggestions with regard to how the Department of Environmental Quality should best allocate funding from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust. The suggestions are outlined below, while the entire letter can be found here.
EV charging station in Raleigh (Photo Credit: Rural Electric Magazine)Read more
ACTION ALERT: Ask City Council to Support Clean Energy! *Updated with Vote Results
BREAKING: Charlotte City Council just voted 6-5 to send a resolution that would commit the City to 100% clean energy by 2050 back to the Environment Committee for further discussion.
Many members raised concerns that the language of the resolution was unclear and that it did not include an action plan showing how the goal would be achieved.
Council Member Eiselt made the motion to send it back to committee for further discussion and creation of a high-level action plan.
While we would have liked to have seen the resolution pass tonight, we believe the decision to send it back to committee is well-intentioned and that if this commitment is made soon — along with a high-level plan — that is an even better outcome than a resolution alone.
Thank you to everyone who contacted City Council over the past few days about this and the ten residents who spoke in support at tonight’s meeting.
We will need you again to ensure this commitment is made early in 2018!
On November 13, the Charlotte City Council Environment Committee was asked to vote in support of a resolution that would demonstrate the city's support of a state and national goal of 100% clean energy by 2050 or sooner.
Specifically, it states, "officials and staff will consider all municipal decisions in light of whether they will bring the City and its residents, businesses, and institutions closer to 100 percent renewable energy and ensure that the benefits of renewable energy are realized by North Carolinians from all walks of life by 2050 or sooner." (See the entire resolution at end of this post.)
The committee voted 2-2 with Council Members Ajmera and Kinsey voting for the resolution while Council Members Driggs and Fallon voted against.
Now the resolution moves to the full City Council for a vote this Monday, November 27.Read more
Volunteers prepare to embark on partnership with Lincoln Heights neighborhood
Are you looking for a way to not only better understand the sustainability needs of neighborhoods throughout Charlotte, but also partner with residents in a very hands-on way in support of their goals?
If so, the Sustain Charlotte Community Corps (SCCC) wants to meet you!
The SCCC connects like-minded volunteers who support Charlotte neighborhoods!Read more