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Mayor Saffo Announces Goal to Reduce Wilmington Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 100%

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Wilmington joins 25 other local governments in North Carolina aiming for a 100% renewable future by 2050.

Wilmington leaders want a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That’s the announcement Mayor Bill Saffo made at the Tuesday, Jan. 7 City Council meeting. Saffo proposes an Ad Hoc Committee to help achieve this goal. 

When WHQR’s Rachel Keith spoke to Saffo just a few weeks ago, he wasn’t sure if a 100% renewable future was possible. Now, his perspective has shifted:

“We feel that we can get there. Obviously there’s going to be a lot of work involved, but we have to have a plan of action in place so that when we’re adopting our budgets, we know how much we're going to budget for these types of reductions.”

It’s an increase from Wilmington’s previous goal of 58% reduction by 2050. But Saffo thinks an Ad Hoc Committee, consisting of 21 citizens collaborating with city staff, can help reach this new goal, also set by 25 other local governments in the state.

“It gives us a roadmap and it gives us a plan of action. Just saying we're going to do a 100% reduction and not put a plan together would just be giving it lip service. This is adopting a plan and then putting the appropriation behind it, and money behind it, to make it happen.”

Saffo hopes to have the committee up and running within two weeks, and a formal plan laid out within six to eight months. He suggests that the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners develop a similar plan of action.

Hannah is WHQR's All Things Considered host, and also reports on science, the environment, and climate change. She enjoys loud music, documentaries, and stargazing; and is the proud mother of three cats, a dog, and many, many houseplants. Contact her via email at hbreisinger@whqr.org, or on Twitter @hbreisinger.