Combating climate change in Austin to start at Austin Energy – Austin Monitor

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As the Office of Sustainability’s newly revised Climate Equity Plan makes its way through boards and commissions for public comment, its latest stop was the Electric Utility Commission on Sept. 14.Zach Baumer, who is the program manager for the plan, told commissioners that while there are plenty of ways Austinites can help the city lower its carbon footprint, the largest driver behind reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions is Austin Energy.According to data collected by the Office of Sustainability, the city-owned utility will be responsible for eliminating nearly 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2030, which is approximately half of the reduction needed from all sources in order to achieve Austin’s goal of net-zero communitywide greenhouse gases by 2050.Austin Energy’s 2030 Resource Generation Plan aims for 93 percent carbon-free generation by 2030 and 100 percent carbon-free generation by 2035. To arrive at this goal, the electric utility is investing in renewable wind and solar power sources and is committed to retiring carbon-generating assets and not investing in new ones.“I have 100 percent confidence we are going to hit that,” Commissioner Cary Ferchill said. “We own the utility. We get to decide what we buy. We get to decide how we …

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