Today, the U.S. Conference of Mayors approved a historic resolution that establishes support from the country’s mayors for the goal of moving to 100 percent clean and renewable energy nationwide.
As a co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy, Mayor Jackie Biskupski was instrumental in the work leading to the mayors’ action, spending much of her time at the annual meeting pressing for adoption of the measure. The resolution took on new urgency following the federal administration’s withdrawal on June 1st from the Paris Climate Agreement. In recent weeks, more than 300 mayors have signed onto a Climate Mayorsstatement to uphold the values and goals of the Paris accord – in opposition to the presidential position.
“We now have hundreds of U.S. mayors who will address climate change by targeting 100 percent clean energy goals in their own communities,” said Mayor Biskupski. “Salt Lake City has led the way with our own ambitious but achievable energy goals. We have committed to generating 100 percent of our community’s electricity supply from renewable energy by 2032, followed by an 80 percent reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
“We’ve demonstrated by our actions in Miami this work can be achieved locally, through continued collaboration and commitment to protecting our planet. I am honored to join mayors from across our nation to lead the transition to clean, renewable energy,” the Mayor said.
Across the United States, 36 cities have now committed to transition to 100 percent renewable energy, and 118 mayors have signed onto this vision in their community as part of Mayors for 100% Clean Energy.
Mayor Biskupski shares the chairmanship of Mayor for 100% Clean Energy with Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina; Mayor Philip Levine of Miami Beach; and Mayor Kevin Faulconer of San Diego.
“There is more work to be done to realize this vision for our nation, but this vote represents an important first step toward cleaner air and water for our families, more good-paying jobs in clean energy, and stronger cites across the country,” Mayor Benjamin said.
According to a new Sierra Club analysis, if cities belonging to the U.S. Conference of Mayors were to transition to 100 percent clean and renewable electricity, it would reduce electric sector carbon emissions by more than that of the five worst carbon polluting U.S. states combined. If the 100 percent energy targets were achieved by 2025, the total electric sector carbon pollution reductions would fill anywhere from 87 percent to 110 percent of the remaining reductions the United States would need to achieve in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.