6 Cities With Plans to Use 100% Renewable Energy

Although itís depressing that the president of the United States seems fixated on relaxing renewable energy goals, the good news is that federal government canít necessarily stop some of the countryís biggest cities from adopting ambitious and earth-saving energy goals on their own accord.

Last month, I wrote “When Countries Fail at Environmental Policy, Cities Step In.” The article discussed how cities are often liberal enough to care about climate change and set responsible energy standards. Since the majority of the world resides in large cities and cities create 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, cities are the perfect place to enact these policies anyway.

While that article focused on international cities picking up their nationsí slack, thereís similar movement within the United States as well. A number of American cities have publicly made pledges to get their electricity exclusively from renewable energy within the next couple of decades:

1. ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Letís start with the newest addition to the list, which just formalized its pledge on Monday. The plan involves making sure all city buildings use clean energy by 2025, with the cityís entire power supply covered by renewables by 2035.

Kwanza Hall, a city council member and current candidate for mayor, introduced the resolution, which passed unanimously. Interestingly enough, Hall might have been shamed into it after recently stating that he believed in science but wasnít quite so sure about climate change.

When Atlanta voters got mad at this comment, Hall made amends by quickly promising to be a part of Atlanta transitioning to clean energy. Whatever it takes!

2. SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

Salt Lake City doesnít just have a goal – Mayor Jackie Biskupski oversaw a very detailed plan to ensure all of its electricity is produced through renewable energy just 15 years from now.

On top of the energy plan, Utahís capital committed to a second green-focused agenda: cutting its vehicular emissions by 80 percent before 2040.

3. MADISON, WISCONSIN

Madison is leading the way in the Midwest, being the largest city in that region to resolve to go 100 percent renewable. Although Madison hasnít laid out a specific timetable like other cities yet, it did budget a quarter million dollars toward developing a detailed plan, to be finalized by early 2018.

4. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

San Diego still has a long way to go to wean itself off fossil fuels, but one way or another itíll come: the city committed to a legally binding plan to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

Part of the reason San Diego was able to establish such a lofty benchmark was because the cityís Republican mayor, Kevin Faulconer, decided clean energy should be a nonpartisan issue. By putting the environment ahead of politics, he found politicians Ė at the local level anyway Ė were able to come to a satisfactory agreement.

5. HONOLULU, HAWAII

The Hawaiian capital went above and beyond, agreeing to be fined if it didnít follow through on its pact to use exclusively renewable energy by the year 2045. However, it didnít settle there Ė the city is now aiming to make sure all of the cars, trucks, etc. are fueled with renewable sources by that same year, too.

6. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

The Bayís goal to embrace renewable energy completely before 2030 is well ahead of the state of Californiaís already ambitious timetable. Currently, 44 percent of the cityís electricity is generated from clean energy, putting it easily on the path to hit the benchmark of 50 percent in 2020.

 

Though this list highlights some of the largest cities pursuing these goals, it is by no means exhaustive. According to the Sierra Club, there are at least 25 American cities that have committed to 100 percent renewable in the not-too-distant future, with a few having already achieved this feat.

Letís help that number grow even further. Contact your city council representatives and encourage them to set their own timeline for a renewable energy transfer in order to protect the well-being on the planet.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

86 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Carl R
Carl R6 months ago

Thanks!!!

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Carl R
Carl R6 months ago

Friday, May 19, 2017

"Mysticism–an all embracing love of humanity–and peacemaking often go together."

—Dag Hammarskjold

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Carl R
Carl R7 months ago

thanks!!!

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Marija M
Marija M7 months ago

very good news...

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE7 months ago

Good start

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Ian P
Ian P7 months ago

Just do it.

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natasha s
Past Member 7 months ago

Hope to see this list grow by so many more.

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Roberto M
Roberto MARINI7 months ago

these cities are a very good example for all of us.

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Anna R
Past Member 7 months ago

All good. Thanks.

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