As the other members of Green Club and I waited nervously in the Carlsbad City Council meeting on Oct. 8, we knew the next decision would greatly affect our future. The council members cast their votes and we looked up to the screen. All seven members voted in favor of the community choice energy plan. We were happy that our voices had been heard and even happier that Carlsbad had chosen to take steps for the environment. But what’s next? In order for this “green new deal” in Carlsbad to succeed, it is crucial for our youth to not only understand it but support it. By educating ourselves, spreading the word to others and encouraging our parents to take part, we can do just that.
Community choice energy simply means that individuals in the city are able to choose what percentage of their energy portfolio comes from coal, nuclear, renewable sources, etc. This is a huge advance in our battle against climate change because now people have the option of going 100 percent renewable if they choose.
According to the Climate Action Campaign, “Currently, San Diego has only one electricity provider– San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)– a de-facto monopoly. Community Choice allows cities and counties to purchase power on behalf of their residents and businesses to provide cleaner power options at a competitive price.”
This change will likely go into full effect over the next few years, and in this time, we as youth need to educate our parents and grandparents on the importance of adding more renewable energy to their portfolios. Greenhouse gas emissions will affect our lives as adults if we don’t adopt sustainable energy solutions now.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, “As with the United States, the majority of the world’s emissions result from electricity generation, transportation, and other forms of energy production and use.”
Many citizens feel apprehensive about adopting this plan, thinking it will raise energy bills. However, community choice energy will offer competitive prices as well as boosting our local economy in many other ways. This new plan will propel us forward in our fight against climate change, and allow us to inspire other cities around us to adopt the same plan.
According to the Local Clean Energy Alliance, “By developing local clean energy resources, Community Choice programs can spur local economic development in the community, provide good local clean energy jobs, offer competitive electric utility bills and price stability, reduce pollution, and provide other community benefits. It can serve as a significant step towards a more resilient and sustainable economy.”
In order for this plan to reach its full potential, we as the youth of Carlsbad need to spread awareness. By attending city council meetings, we can express our opinions and receive updates on the initiative. From here, we can educate our parents and grandparents and inspire them to include more renewable energy in their portfolios. Through our support of Community Choice Energy, Carlsbad will become a more eco-friendly city.