Hundreds of US mayors endorse switch to 100% renewable energy by 2035
27 June 2017 | Mitigation
A bipartisan group of mayors from across the country has unanimously backed an ambitious commitment for US cities to run entirely on renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2035.
As the US Conference of Mayors wrapped up in Miami Beach on Monday, leaders from more than 250 cities voted on symbolic resolutions pushing back against Donald Trump on climate change and immigration.
Steve Benjamin, the Democratic mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, proposed the resolution with three other mayors. Mayors had been on the frontline of climate and energy issues for a long time, he said, adding that the president’s actions had ignited the excitement of mayors and citizens who want to do more.
The clean energy resolution is one of the many measures that will be sent to Congress and the White House, hoping to influence legislation under an administration that has pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord. It was proposed by Democratic mayors in Republican-dominated states: South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Iowa.
Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine was another leader of the effort after being in the spotlight for his moves to combat sea level rise.
A May survey by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions said 47 cities spent nearly $1.2bn annually on electricity for city operations. Mayors at the conference have overwhelmingly expressed support to fight climate change, especially after the Trump administration pulled out of the Paris climate agreement last month.
“I think most mayors in America don’t think we have to wait for a president” whose beliefs on climate change are disconnected from science, New Orleans mayor and new conference president Mitch Landrieu said at the beginning of the conference.
“There’s near unanimity in this conference that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it. There may be a little bit of a disagreement about how actually to deal with it.
“If the federal government refuses to act or is just paralyzed, the cities themselves, through their mayors, are going to create a new national policy by the accumulation of our individual efforts.”
Source: The Guardian