Yesterday the Orange County Board of Commissioners passed a budget that includes nearly a half-million dollars over the next year dedicated to climate action through clean energy projects. It’s an unprecedented show of leadership at an extraordinary point in time, and it really needs to be followed by many other local governments across North Carolina and beyond.
In presenting the measure, Commissioner Mark Marcoplos said: “We are facing a planetary crisis unlike anything we could ever have envisioned… We need everyone on board: citizens, communities, local governments, state and federal governments.”
The climate fund was also supported by Commissioners Penny Rich, Sally Greene and Mark Dorosin. Voting no were Commissioners Renee Price, Jamezetta Bedford and Earl McKee.
We also commend NC WARN’s Orange County Clean Path Action Team, which has been working with Orange officials for more than a year. Team members spoke in favor of the measure at recent board meetings, pointing out that potential projects such as weatherizing the homes of low-income residents and installing solar power on county buildings will save more money than they cost.
NC WARN particularly thanks Marcoplos for highlighting the climate emergency at a time when most politicians and others are dodging the issue of urgency, preferring to focus on clean energy and not why it is needed so badly.
Many local governments have passed resolutions calling for more renewable energy. But Orange County is backing its climate and clean energy resolutions with solid action. We hope this will inspire many others to follow suit.
The move also sends a powerful signal to Duke Energy – one of the world’s largest climate polluters and a constant impediment to renewable energy despite all its greenwashing – that the public and true leaders won’t allow Duke to keep blocking progress toward addressing the climate emergency.