The St. Petersburg, Fla., City Council has formally approved the city’s commitment to transition to 100% renewable energy. According to the Sierra Club, St. Petersburg represents the first city in Florida and the 20th city in the U.S. to make such a commitment.
In a unanimous vote, the City Council Committee of the Whole has allocated $250,000 of BP settlement funds from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to an Integrated Sustainability Action Plan, which will chart a roadmap to 100% renewable energy in St. Petersburg.
In addition, the plan also incorporates components of a climate action plan, a resiliency plan and strategies for St. Petersburg to achieve a 5 STAR Community rating. The 100% clean energy roadmap builds on Mayor Rick Kriseman’s executive order establishing a net-zero energy goal for the city earlier in 2016.
“Working toward 100 percent clean energy and zero waste will help ensure that St. Pete remains a ‘city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play,’” says Kriseman.
The Sierra Club continues working to get U.S. cities to fully commit to renewables through its Ready for 100 national campaign.
“The movement for clean energy in cities and towns across the country is now more important than ever,” comments Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “St. Petersburg joins 19 other cities from San Diego, Calif., to Greensburg, Kan., that will lead the way to support equitable and inclusive communities built on 100 percent clean, renewable energy for all. Whether you’re from a red state or blue state, clean energy works for everyone, and local leaders will continue to move forward to create more jobs, stronger communities, and cleaner air and water.”
The association’s local branch, Suncoast Sierra Club, heads the Ready for 100% St. Pete campaign, which develops residential and commercial pilot programs with partner organizations and raises public awareness of clean energy and climate planning in the city.
Campaign Manager Emily Gorman says, “This is a historic moment for St. Pete. We envision a city where families can raise their kids in communities free from toxic pollution, where everyone has the opportunity for a good job and access to healthy, affordable energy. The transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy will ensure a more resilient, sustainable and equitable future for all our residents.”