Mayor Kelly unveils Climate Action Plan

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly has unveiled one of the most ambitious plans of his tenure.

Mayor Kelly believes that Chattanooga is a green city, but must continue to work to ensure that it maintains and expands that designation.

This is why today, he unveiled a Climate Action Plan that he hopes guide public policy in Chattanooga for the next generation.

Mayor Kelly said, “What it is, is a wide, long ranging comprehensive plan to get Chattanooga to carbon neutral status by 2050.”

The goal of having the city of Chattanooga at carbon neutral status is one of six primary goals of the Mayor’s Climate Action Plan.

Among these goals in the plan include becoming a zero waste city, reducing disparities between communities, and positioning Chattanooga to be a leader in the green economy.

Mayor Kelly said, “So there is this way of looking at this, that even if you’re a full on climate skeptic, the green economy is a trillion dollars annually now.”

The Mayor says that companies like Volkswagen building electric cars in the Scenic City is a sign that Chattanooga can be a hub for this green economy.

He says that the cost of this plan will not be a burden on taxpayers.

Mayor Kelly said, “Most of what we see in implementing the plan is that it is not going to require us to ask for dollars from rank and file Chattanoogans. It certainly would not imply a tax increase or anything of that nature. The simplest way to understand it, is if you’ve got an old filament light bulb that burns out, you would replace it with an LED light bulb.”

He hopes that plan will be a footprint for the entire Tennessee Valley,

Mayor Kelly said, “This is not a partisan issue. What we’re trying to do with the Plan is get away from this being this is some fuzzy tree hugger thing. The economics of it make perfect sense. This is a practical, sustainable, cost saving plan. Ultimately it will reduce operating costs for the government and save taxpayers money. Regardless of your political affiliation, that makes sense.”

Mayor Kelly emphasized that this plan would be implemented in small increments like replacing old vehicles with electric vehicles when necessary.

He also emphasized long term plans like the revamp of the Chattanooga park system as key tenets of this plan.

There will be a public comment period at the City Council meeting on March 21st and the City Council on March 28.

You can read the full Climate Action Plan here.

Climate Action Plan Infographic Final

An overview of some of the key components of the Climate Action Plan announced by Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. (Courtesy: City of Chattanooga)

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