Energy goals on the table

Energy goals on the table

URBANA — The Urbana City Council will vote tonight on committing to work toward some long-term sustainable energy goals.

The goals are called the Urbana Climate Inheritance Resolution, which came together after iMatter — a national youth group fighting climate change — visited city staff.

The four goals are to achieve full net carbon neutrality, defined in the resolution as "any combination of carbon emissions reductions," by 2040, generate 100 percent of the community's electricity from renewable sources by 2025, work on sustainable community living with local researchers and create a mechanism for including young people while making climate-related policies.

Carbon emission reductions that can achieve net carbon neutrality, according to the resolution, include efficiency, renewable energy, purchasing renewable energy credits or generating carbon offsets.

Urbana's environmental sustainability manager, Scott Tess, said these goals apply citywide, not just to facilities and operations run by city government.

"We'll be encouraging private entities to change," Tess said about the goals. "We're going to do our best to meet these goals."

The biggest challenge involved with achieving the goals is getting funding from any third party, Tess said.

After a local iMatter group first introduced itself at a city council meeting earlier this winter, Tess said it attended some of the city's Sustainability Advisory Commission meetings to advocate passing the resolution. It was written by the iMatter organization, Tess said, and then tailored by Alderman Bill Brown to fit the city.

Tess said he hopes the iMatter group continues to be involved with the city and that anyone who's interested in the goals can publicly comment at the Sustainability Advisory Commission meetings.

"There isn't a lot to be had," Tess said about funding. "It's something we're lacking now, funding for programming to procure renewable assets, incentivizing others to procure renewable assets and for marketing campaigns to influence energy-efficient behaviors."

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serf wrote on February 19, 2018 at 7:02 pm

This seems like one of those distractions the city shouldn't be worrying about.  Let's dig down and figure out how to get out of the financial hole we find ourselves in.  Worry about fluff like this at a later time when money is available.