College Green

Exploring environmental news in Southeast Ohio

Athens officials will assess city’s progress with Cool Cities standards

Posted by collegegreenou on October 2, 2009

By Gabriel Weinstein
College Green News Staff
gw711008@ohio.edu

Athens officials have established a new committee to evaluate the city’s progress as a member of the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program, a nationwide effort to reduce global warming “one city at a time.”

Member cities of the program focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy and green vehicles as priorities in their plans to stop global warming. The new committee will evaluate Athens’ progress since becoming a member of the program in 2007.

Teny Bannick, a member of local advocacy group Rural Action, will lead the committee. She is the committee’s only member but is looking for additional people to serve. Roughly 10 people have expressed interest, she said.

In addition to the Cool Cities standards, the committee will review the climate plans of other cities to learn from their successes and failures.

The committee cannot begin assessing Athens’ progress until certain city projects have been completed, officials said. Once those projects are finished, the committee can use that data to measure whether Athens is satisfying Cool Cities’ requirements, Athens City Councilman Elahu Gosney said.

Bannick said the committee will not just try to satisfy Cool Cities’ standards. It will try to surpass them.

“Our goal is to go beyond the Cool Cities resolution and pass even more progressive environmental legislation,” Bannick said.

Local Governments for Sustainability, an international organization of local governments dedicated to sustainable development, will provide resources to the committee to help with research and analysis.

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