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Louisville 160th City to Pass 100% Renewable-Energy Resolution

Louisville is the first Kentucky city to commit to reaching 100% renewable energy for its city operations by 2040. (Adobe Stock)
Louisville is the first Kentucky city to commit to reaching 100% renewable energy for its city operations by 2040. (Adobe Stock)
February 18, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Louisville Metro Council has voted to commit to reaching 100% renewable energy use for city operations within the next two decades.

According to the resolution, the city will work to shift public transit and other operations to run on cleaner forms of energy, such as electricity and solar power.

The Metro Council vote was 15-4 in support of the resolution.

Gretchen Milliken, director of advanced planning and sustainability for Louisville Metro, said the city already has been focused on reducing its carbon-emissions footprint.

"We have done an emissions-reduction plan. We're in the last phases of pulling together our climate adaptation plan," Milliken explained. "And these lay out strategies for our city, of how we are going to be reducing our emissions -- but also, strategies of how we're going to be dealing with the climate change that is inevitably coming our way."

She added that Louisville's summer temperatures are projected to rise between seven and 12 degrees in the next half-century.

Drew Foley, group chair of the Sierra Club's Greater Louisville Group, described the move as a step in the right direction, but pointed out that a handful of U.S. cities already are generating all or most of the energy for city operations from clean and renewable sources.

"Louisville was the 160th city in the United States that has made that commitment," Foley noted. "So, we're pretty late to the game, actually."

According to a 2016 Environmental Protection Agency report, Kentucky is likely to experience more extreme flooding, as well as longer periods of drought from climate change in the coming decades.

Disclosure: Sierra Club, Cumberland Chapter contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Public Lands/Wilderness, Sustainable Agriculture, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - KY