In both Nevada and Ohio, voters approve plans to transition to renewable energy sources. In Ohio, the city of Columbus will shoot for 100% clean energy by 2023. Meanwhile, the state of Nevada cements a plan to get half of the state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030.

Each week we summarize three pieces of news that give us hope for a greener, brighter future. Follow Emeraldology on social media or sign up for our weekly newsletter to have Hopeful Headlines sent directly to your inbox!

Nevada Voters Approve Renewable Energy Mandate

By Morgan Conley, Law360, November 4, 2020

  • Voters in Nevada approved a constitutional amendment requiring the state to “get at least half its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.”
  • Known as Question 6, the initiative was approved by a margin of 56%-44%. Nevada’s first benchmark comes in 2022 when 22% of its electricity must come from renewable sources. The amendment sets up incremental benchmarks leading up to 50% in 2030.
  • The Money Quote: “We’re lucky right now to have clean energy champions in the governor’s office and legislature,” Dylan Sullivan, a senior adviser for the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, told Law360. “But, if for some reason that changes, Question 6 will act as a backstop in just making sure that the state keeps on its path toward a clean electricity system.”

Why it matters: This isn’t just another climate goal or pledge: this is a constitutional amendment passed by popular vote. Between sun, wind and geothermal, Nevada has more than enough renewable energy resources to adhere to Question 6.

Columbus voters approve green-energy aggregation plan

Bill Bush, The Columbus Dispatch, November 4, 2020

  • Unofficial results show that Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 1, a plan to “supply 100% of the city’s power needs with renewable energy by 2023.” Columbus is the largest city in Ohio and its plan will be the third-largest in the United States.
  • Columbus’ primary energy vendor, AEP Energy, is now tasked with supplying clean energy from brand newly constructed win and solar farms. The plan also includes incentives for home owners to install solar panels. Issue 1 overcame opposition from Ohio’s coal industry.
  • The Money Quote: “It’s good for the environment, it’s good for jobs, it’s good for the rate payers,” said City Councilman Rob Dorans, who ushered the plan through council. “Voters have recognized the unique opportunity on all those fronts.” 

Why it matters: Columbus voters favored Issue 1 by a margin of 76% to 24%!!! Other major cities could use this framework to adopt green energy plans of their own.

New York state’s plastic bag ban is finally being enforced

By Joseph Winters, Grist, October 27, 2020

  • New York is now enforcing a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, months after it was supposed to go into effect. The state joins California, Hawaii, Oregon and Vermont in enforcing plastic bag bans.
  • The ban was held up by a lawsuit from plastic bag manufacturer Poly-Pak. Plastic and fossil fuel groups also tried to “paint reusable grocery bags as vectors of COVID-19 infection —despite the fact that these claims were never backed by science.”
  • The Money Quote: “It’s going to have a huge impact on the amount of plastic waste we produce,” said Liz Moran, environmental policy director for the New York Public Interest Research Group. Prior to the ban, according to DEC estimates, New Yorkers were going through about 23 billion plastic bags each year.

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Feature photo by Antonio Garcia on Unsplash.