In 2021, U.S. cities experienced twenty natural disasters that caused more than $1 billion in damage each. Man-made disasters (e.g., terrorism, power outages, cyber-attacks) also inflict severe damage. The City of Atlanta is working to mitigate climate change and build residents’ resilience through a variety of pathways, with an emphasis on clean energy, energy security, and equity. The City codified and advanced this agenda via the City of Atlanta Climate Action Plan (2015), the Clean Energy Atlanta Plan (2019), and Decarbonize Atlanta (2021), as well as support from the Clean Energy Advisory Board and the Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
As Atlanta experiences more climate change-driven extreme heat events, the neighborhoods most likely to bear the brunt are low-income neighborhoods and BIPOC communities. Atlanta’s clean energy system must deliver reliable energy at an affordable rate so that all residents are able to cool their homes appropriately without worrying about the cost. The City of Atlanta will partner with FUSE to holistically advance the City’s climate change and energy resilience. The FUSE Executive Fellow will synthesize current climate change and energy plans into a single, updated, comprehensive plan; drive the Clean Energy Advisory Board’s work while liaising with key equity stakeholders; and implement an equity-focused energy project. As a result of this work, Atlanta’s programs, policies, and populace will be more resilient to climate change and more energy secure.