Clarkston, Georgia Commits to 100 Percent Clean, Renewable Energy

“Most Diverse Square Mile in America” Approves Measure to Transition to Clean Energy

Stephanie Steinbrecher,

CLARKSTON, GA - Today, Clarkston, Georgia adopted a resolution to transition to 100 percent clean and renewable energy. Clarkston becomes the second city in the state to make this commitment, one year after Atlanta.

The Clarkston City Council unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Councilmembers Andrea Cervone, YT Bell, and Jamie Carroll that establishes a community-wide goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The measure also states that the city’s fleet vehicles will be zero-emission by 2035.

Clarkston’s city council is the first majority millennial elected body in the U.S. The city has also been called “the most diverse square mile in America,” due to the large number of refugees and immigrants who have relocated to the city in the past 20 years. Over 80 percent of Clarkston’s population is non-white.

“Clean energy is the future. One of the benefits of having a majority millennial city council is that we have a keen eye towards what our community will be like decades from now. Our hope is to chart a clear path to a future Clarkston with cleaner air, water, and more economic opportunities. We look forward to working with the City of Atlanta and communities across the metro area to make a clean energy transition, which will help us tackle climate change and create a more resilient future even quicker,” said Councilwoman Andrea Cervone.

“Clarkston is growing, and we want to grow in a smart and sustainable direction. Our council is undertaking a complete overhaul of our development ordinances with an eye on incentivizing more walkable, bikeable neighborhoods and greenways, with encouragement for energy efficiency, electric vehicle, solar and net-zero building standards to help us meet our 100% clean energy goals,” said Councilman Jamie Carroll.

“Equitable investments in our community are at the forefront of our plans for the transition to a clean energy economy. We believe that historically marginalized communities should be the first to receive the benefits of our community wide plan. That is why we will be using our recently created affordable housing trust fund as a key tool to provide energy efficiency housing rehabilitation for our fixed income residents to help cut down on their monthly energy bills,” said Councilwoman YT Bell.

“It's great news, and no surprise, that Clarkston has passed a 100 percent clean energy resolution. This city has a global perspective, and its millennial leadership knows how much there is to lose as climate disruption unfolds -- for our generation and for future generations. We also know how much we have to gain by ending our dependence on fossil fuels and building a better energy system. I hope Clarkston can set an example for cities small and large, near and far, of how to transition to a sustainable energy system by prioritizing the true needs of people and through equitable investment in communities,” said Nina Dutton, chair of the Sierra Club Metro Atlanta Group.

The resolution states that the City Manager and Planning Department will work with the Environment and Transportation Committee to develop a plan for Clarkston to meet its 100 percent goal by March 2019. This plan will include interim milestones, budget estimates, equity metrics, estimated financial impacts, and the percentage of clean energy that will be locally and distributively generated.

The City also committed to including public input in the planning and implementation process, as well as ensuring that benefits of a clean energy economy will extend to all residents of Clarkston. Also included in the measure is a pledge that low-income and historically marginalized communities will have access to ownership and benefits of clean energy, local jobs will be prioritized, and the transition to a 100% clean energy economy will be equitable and just.

Clarkston joins 65 other cities across the U.S. committed to 100 percent clean energy.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit