POLITICS

Mayoral Candidate Follows Up Climate Change Skepticism With Green Energy Pledge

“I got a question mark on the global warming thing,” Atlanta's Kwanza Hall said a day before laying out a sustainability plan.

WASHINGTON — A mayoral candidate in Atlanta has vowed to power the city entirely with renewable energy by 2050 if elected, despite having voiced skepticism earlier this week about the realities of climate change.

Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall said Tuesday at a forum that he is “kind of bit a conspiracy theorist” when it comes to climate change, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“I got a question mark on the global warming thing,” he reportedly said. “I do believe in sustainability. I’m a science-minded person and I have a science background. But stuff is in the media too much … It’s hard for me to be convinced sometimes.”

Kwanza Hall, a candidate for mayor of Atlanta, has since walked back his climate denial comments. 
Kwanza Hall, a candidate for mayor of Atlanta, has since walked back his climate denial comments. 

In an apparent attempt to put out the fire, Hall issued a press release Wednesday in which he spelled out his goal to make the city run on clean energy — something he said would require cooperation and coordination.

“We will not be satisfied by checking boxes on grant applications,” he said in a statement. “We will measure our carbon reduction, but even more importantly, we’ll measure the human and economic benefits that will truly be our milestones of success.”

Hall, who is now serving his third term on the city council, also took the opportunity to clarify what he had said the day before:

“I did not articulate where I am coming from clearly, at all. I believe in science and the overwhelming scientific consensus that tells us that our planet is warming and it is caused by humans burning fossil fuels. What I’m not sold on is the politicization of big issues like climate change. A lot of it is senseless propaganda, and it comes from both sides.

I fully embrace the role that the City of Atlanta will play in mitigating climate change because the solutions all make sense for all sorts of other reasons: saving energy and water, developing renewable energy and making land use and transportation decisions that support transit, walking, and bicycles. These solutions save people money and make people healthier.

Moreover, I recognize that science won’t give us a ‘silver bullet’ to answer to climate change―we need to bring all of our human capital to advance on this issue.”

Georgia State Sen. Vincent Fort (D) was among those who blasted Hall for his initial comments.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article identified Hall as a Republican.

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