Clean Energy Group Joins Knoxville Mayor’s Climate Council

Council Will Identify and Prioritize Strategies to Meet the City’s Carbon Reduction Goals

May 11, 2020
Contact: Kate Tracy, 865-235-1448, [email protected]

Knoxville, Tennessee – Today, the City of Knoxville announced the inaugural meeting, for the Mayor’s Climate Council to be held Tuesday, May 12 at 1 PM ET. The council was established by newly-elected Knoxville City Mayor, Indya Kincannon, who made climate change part of her core campaign last fall. According to the City, “The council’s role is to identify and prioritize strategies to meet the City’s adopted goal to reduce community greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050.” Kincannon’s commitment to addressing climate change through a Mayor’s Climate Council is a critical step to help Knoxville become a climate leader in the Southeast.

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) joins a cross-section of advocacy, utility, and business organizations representing Knoxville who will work together to develop a plan to reduce the city and community’s carbon footprint and lower energy costs for Knoxvillians. Achieving the community-wide carbon reduction goals will ensure that Knoxville is building resilient infrastructure, creating good-paying local jobs, and reducing excessive climate-harming carbon pollution.

Knoxville can be a leader on climate change in the Southeast. The creation of a Mayor’s Climate Council is an indicator that the third-largest city in Tennessee is serious about addressing climate change and mitigating carbon pollution to protect its residents today and tomorrow.

“I am honored to be selected to serve with other community leaders on Mayor Kincannon’s Climate Council,” said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, Executive Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

“We are in an unprecedented time that demands we relearn the value of science and good planning. Mayor Kincannon is following through on one of her key campaign promises to have Knoxville lead on addressing the challenges of the climate crisis. Our work at SACE has shown that many of the ways to address reducing carbon emissions are also opportunities to cut waste, increase efficiencies, and embrace the economic gains of new clean technologies. Former Mayor Rogero’s LED streetlight initiative serves as a prime example while also saving taxpayers money over time. Electrifying transportation, installing more zero-emission solar, and helping more citizens capture energy savings in their homes and businesses are all smart investments that cut greenhouse gas emissions. I’m not naive that as we move from city operations to community-wide goals there is both much work and much education needed, but it is only when every citizen understands that they can be part of the solution and not the problem, that we will be successful. Our children and grandchildren expect and depend on our meeting and exceeding this responsibility.”

The group will meet bi-monthly over the course of nine months, focusing their discussions on emissions in three categories: Transportation; Energy and Buildings; and Waste. Read more about the role of the Mayor’s Climate Council and its timeline on the City’s website.

The May 12 meeting will be hosted virtually at 1 PM and available for the public to watch live on Community Television at or on their cable TV channel:

Xfinity (Comcast) – Channel 12
Charter (Spectrum) – Channel 193
WOW! (Knology) – Channel 6
AT&T U-verse – Channel 99