CH should lead in green energy
On Oct. 19, the city of Euclid, under the progressive leadership of Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer and city council, took a historic step towards a better future for its residents and the planet by passing a resolution to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Over the past several years, Euclid has shown its dedication to sustainability through several local projects. The city council created a sustainability committee to elevate these issues and create a venue for discussion among residents and local government leaders.
Euclid has been actively working toward a greener future with the installation of solar panels on top of the public library and city hall, to meet the energy needs of these government operations. The projects reduce carbon by 150 tons per year. The city has also partnered with the business community, building four wind turbines that make it a unique home to wind power.
Similarly, on July 15, 2019, Lakewood City Council unanimously passed Resolution 9082-19, which supports two congressional bills, The Green New Deal (HR 109), and the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), as well as the BlueGreen Alliance. Two of these climate-change plans would set priorities and provide a broad policy framework to guide federal, state and local action, while the third would implement a central strategy (cap-and-dividend) to address climate change.
The city of Lakewood has been working for years to improve its energy use, transportation system, stormwater management, and more. It has worked on sidewalk repair, increasing bicycling, increasing urban forest canopy, weatherizing homes and commercial buildings, converting street lights to LED, sourcing clean power for city operations, installing and encouraging solar, adding electrical cogeneration to its wastewater treatment plant, expanding recycling, and keeping Ohio’s densest community a vibrant destination of choice.
Though the city of Cleveland Heights has been making some progress toward renewable energy—by installing solar panels in some public buildings, retrofitting interior lights with LED, and improving energy efficiency through a nearly $6-million overhaul of its utility infrastructure—we need a more intentional, inclusive, and systematic plan to promote clean and affordable renewable energy, to create a healthier and more prosperous future for our families.
Clean-energy policy is smart economic policy: In addition to being better for our health and the environment, renewable-energy projects create three times as many jobs as fossil-fuel energy projects.
The city of Cleveland Heights deserves a forward-thinking set of policies to reduce pollution, create jobs, build our economy, and ensure a highly desirable community that is safe, healthy and progressive. Dear CH City Council members, the time to act is now, to lead our city into an inevitable future.
Catalina Wagers is a former retail industry executive who now focuses on projects that advance Northeast Ohio (NEO) and its residents. She is active in several environmental groups, including Citizens’ Climate Lobby (NEO chapter), a worldwide organization that empowers people to work with their community and members of Congress on climate-change solutions.