A bright blue sky is the backdrop for the city skyline, while a river flows diagonally across the foreground.
City of Columbus, Ohio Skyline © Howard J via Flickr CC


TNC Ohio Endorses Columbus Aggregation

Issue 1 will allow the city of Columbus to develop an aggregation program and work to provide 100% renewable energy.

The Nature Conservancy is pleased to endorse the Community Choice Aggregation ballot measure, which will appear as Issue 1 on the local ballot for Columbus voters in the 2020 General Election. Passing this ballot initiative will allow the city of Columbus to develop an aggregation program and negotiate a contract with an energy supplier that will provide 100% renewable energy. It will also create the largest energy aggregation initiative focusing on renewable sources of energy by any city in the Midwest.

State Director, Ohio
Bill Stanley State Director, Ohio © David Ike

The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Bill Stanley, Ohio State Director for The Nature Conservancy: “We were glad to see Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announce earlier this year that Columbus would begin working toward goals of utilizing 100% renewable energy sources by 2022 and being carbon neutral by 2050. Passing Issue 1 in the November election is a pivotal step toward reaching these goals.

If approved by voters in November, this measure will allow the city to negotiate a contract with an electric energy supplier to provide the majority of Columbus residents with competitively-priced renewable energy. While we hope all Columbus residents will take advantage of this aggregation program, participation in community choice aggregation is voluntary, and residents can opt out at any time. The city has selected AEP Energy as the supplier for this aggregation plan.

Increasing the use of renewable sources to supply our community’s energy needs will help create more job opportunities, adding to the 114,000 Ohioans already employed by the clean energy sector as of 2019 (Clean Jobs Midwest). We are proud that Columbus is among the local leaders across the state taking advantage of renewable energy and energy efficiency, in part, because of their potential cost savings and job growth.

While investing in renewable energy is a powerful driver of sustainable economic growth, it is also an investment in our health. This ballot measure comes at a crucial time as we continue to experience the impacts of climate change, which has led to record-breaking changes in weather patterns—2019 concluded the hottest decade ever recorded. In addition to stressing natural habitats, higher temperatures harm air quality as emissions from cars, industry and other sources mix with heat and lead to ground-level ozone, which can pose serious risks – especially to those with respiratory conditions like asthma. Without question, access to clean air is an environmental determinant of health. By increasing renewable energy use, we can decrease emissions and improve air quality in Central Ohio. We thank Mayor Ginther and the members of Columbus City Council for their leadership on this important measure. We encourage Columbus voters to learn more about the aggregation program’s benefits and vote yes on Issue 1.”  

Paid for by The Nature Conservancy in coordination with Clean Columbus.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.