The Sustainable Madison Committee will vote Monday on proposals to adopt renewable energy goals for the city.
Two proposals created by the committee call on the city to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions by investing in and utilizing renewable energy. The end goal of both proposals is 100 percent renewable energy use among city agencies.
Both proposals focus on using $250,000 that is already allocated in the 2017 city budget for sustainability improvements to hire a third party to help develop the plan to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change.
“(Passage of a proposal) will essentially make it clear that the city wants to get to 100 percent renewable energy, which will hopefully affect future resolutions and city investments,” said Mitch Brey, campaign director for RePower Madison.
Brey said that plans made by the council in the coming years could affect decades to come in terms of climate change. “Now is the time to act,” he said.
The two proposals are similar, but one includes a timeline of when specific goals should be met, including: 25 percent of energy coming from clean sources by 2025; an immediate decrease in ozone pollutants; and an immediate effort to meet the American Lung Association’s highest grade for ozone and fine particulate levels.
“The debate at this point is basically about language and whether the committee or city staff should make the timeline,” Brey said.
The Sustainable Madison Committee is made up of Madison residents appointed by Mayor Paul Soglin and Ald. David Ahrens.
If one of the proposals passes on Monday, it would be introduced to the City Council with Ahrens as a sponsor. From there, it could go to other committees before returning to the full council for a vote. If passed, it would move to Soglin for approval.