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Former President Jimmy Carter said on Wednesday that millions of jobs could be created in the United States if President Donald Trump embraces renewable energy sources such as geothermal, solar and wind. (February 8)

The ban on single-use plastic utensils and containers only applies to city property, city events.

Tallahassee city officials on Wednesday shared early work on a clean energy plan, intended to become fully reliant on renewables by 2050.

The announcement came at the regular meeting of the municipal commission on Wednesday. While the plan is still being finalized, climate and environmental groups say there are still issues regarding low-income residents that need to be addressed.

In a related move, Tallahassee city commissioners also unanimously passed a ban on single-use plastic utensils and containers on city property or at city events.

The clean energy plan aims to achieve 100% clean, clean renewable energy over the next 29 years. This includes switching all operations of the city’s facilities, light vehicles and StarMetro fixed route buses to renewable energy by 2035.

The city already operates two solar parks, one of which devotes part of the energy generated to the maintenance of municipal buildings. It has also switched to a fleet of electric vehicles and buses.

At the same time, the city received international recognition from the US Green Building Council for achieving benchmarks in sustainability and resilience.

“We’ve come a long way,” Deputy Director General of Power System Planning David Byrne told city commissioners. “But to get to this 100% clean renewable energy, we have a long way to go.”

Byrne said the final plan is expected to be completed next year.

It is also essential to shift the whole community to renewable and clean energy by addressing the affordability of energy solutions and by incentivizing or offering discounts to households that adopt solar energy or invest in other energy efficiencies. , such as weatherization.

This is where advocates say there are gaps in the development plan that leave few options for low- and moderate-income households: “They have the most to lose and the least to gain from a household. clean energy transition, ”said Salome Garcia of Climate Leadership Engagement Opportunities. Institute (CLEO).

She was joined by other members of the group who told commissioners that clean energy has links to food security, well-paying jobs, affordable housing and transportation.

But many low-income households are not homeowners, which could exclude them from possible discounts or incentives.

“I don’t see an action plan for equity at all,” CLEO’s Katrina Irwin said. “We must not only collaborate with environmental and energy organizations, but also with community organizations that focus on serving our vulnerable households. Energy policy is not an isolated problem.

LEED Gold certification

Tallahassee joins 126 cities and communities around the world to achieve Gold LEED certification.

LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” and is an internationally recognized certification that “indicates that a building or community has been designed and constructed to be environmentally responsible”.

The scoring categories are integrative planning, natural systems and ecology, transportation and land use, water performance, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, quality of life , innovation and regional priority.

City also bans single-use plastic products at events on city property

The new plastics ban states that “single-use plastic catering utensils or containers may not be distributed at city events or on city property by employees, vendors or licensees “, he indicates.

It applies to “citizens’ committee meetings, board meetings and the gathering of City employees for training and celebrations; all facilities owned, managed or operated by the City, including meeting rooms, break rooms, kitchens and outdoor spaces ”.

It also covers “activities or events organized… on city property or on behalf of the city”, such as festivals and special events.

A written policy explains that “food services often incorporate the use of single-use plastics, which can have negative impacts on the environment. Alternatives to these single-use plastics are now more readily available on the market ”.

At the same time, the policy says it “is not intended to prevent an individual from bringing their own plastic product for personal use while on city property.”

The Cascades trails will be named after Nancy Van Vessem

In other cases, the commissioners have agreed to name the pedestrian paths of Cascades Park in honor of Dr. Nancy Van Vessem, chief medical officer of the Capital Health Plan for more than 20 years.

She and Florida State University student Maura Binkley died and four others were injured when a man who police said had “expressed hatred towards women” fired a gun at a Tallahassee yoga studio in November 2018.

Contact Karl Etters at ketters@tallahassee.com or @KarlEtters on Twitter.

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