“We sincerely felt that we had no other recourse than to commit this act of civil resistance because of the secrecy and complicity of elected officials and the business community in making this deal.”
According to the city’s website, the plan, being drafted by Winston-Salem-based consultant AECOM for $95,000, “will incorporate all new additions of policies and resolutions while creating a roadmap on how to accomplish adopted goals” for sustainability and climate through 2030.
Both Buncombe County and the city of Asheville have resolved that, by the end of 2030, government operations will be powered entirely by renewable energy. With less than eight years until that deadline, what progress has been made toward the energy goals?
In fiscal year 2019-20, the most recent year for which data is available, the city emitted the equivalent of roughly 18,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Its target for the year was approximately 15,600 metric tons of CO2, about 15% less than the actual figure.
Asheville’s Planning and Zoning Commission narrowly voted to approve the proposed zoning amendment in a 4-3 vote Sept. 1. If the change is approved, they will hold a subsequent public hearing to consider rezoning several properties totalling 122 acres to the new district
Asheville City Council and the community will participate in city business face to face for the first time since April 2020. The meeting will take place in the Banquet Hall at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville at 5 p.m.
“If it was truly perceived as an emergency, then I think we would be doing more and talking about it more,” says Asheville City Council member Kim Roney, who was elected in November on a platform that included a local Green New Deal and rapid renewable energy deployment.
Asheville City Council will urge Congress to pass the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which is aimed at reducing fossil fuel use by imposing a tax that would increase over time. Before the 6-1 vote approving the board’s resolution, with Council member Brian Haynes opposed, members of the public weighed in on whether imposing such a tax is the right step.
“The loss of life and damage caused by current global warming demonstrates that the Earth is already too hot for safety,” states the document approved by a 6-0 vote of Asheville City Council on Jan. 28. “Restoring a safe and stable climate requires an emergency climate mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II.”
After months of haranguing City Council over the wording of a climate emergency resolution, over 40 protesters with Sunrise Movement Asheville occupied the government building on Dec. 6 to demand that Mayor Esther Manheimer and her colleagues pass the document as written by the climate justice group.
“Council had the courage to fight the state over the election process. Let’s hope they find the courage to choose to fight over this life-and-death climate emergency.”
On Nov. 26, Asheville City Council declined to allow tiny home communities in Highway Business zoning districts, saying those areas should be reserved for higher-density, transit-oriented forms of development. Activists with the Sunrise Movement urged Council to pass a climate emergency resolution advanced by the group without changes of any kind. And a group of bear advocates asked the city to help investigate whether local black bears are being caught in illegal snare traps.
Asheville City Council announced that it would consider on a resolution to declare a climate emergency during its upcoming meeting. But representatives from the Sunrise Movement feel that the vote is being pushed through without proper vetting from activists and city staff.
Roughly 75 people, including Asheville City Council member Brian Haynes and Council candidate Shane McCarthy, took part in demanding that local government take stronger action in response to climate change. Extinction Rebellion chose the date of the march to coincide with the time local elections would have been held before they were moved to 2020 through the passage of Senate Bill 813.
“The time to stop pretending is now! The time to implement extreme changes is now! The time to strike is now!”