On Friday, residents from across Cleveland joined local leaders on the steps of city hall to demonstrate support for the city’s goal to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2050.
A mix of residents, community leaders, public health experts and clergy voiced their support for a “just and equitable transition” to 100% clean energy in Cleveland, according to the Sierra Club. The goal is currently included in latest draft of the Cleveland Climate Action Plan, prepared by Mayor Frank Jackson’s Office of Sustainability.
Two Cleveland residents – Robert Lucas, representing the Garden Valley Neighborhood House, a community center and food bank in the process of retrofitting its facilities in order to install solar panels, and 10-year old Makaylann Simpkins – delivered over 2,000 petitions to Jackson’s office to demonstrate the community’s support of this goal.
“By increasing energy efficiency and looking at innovative new projects like community solar and offshore wind, everyone stands to gain in a clean energy economy,” says Jocelyn Travis, campaign coordinator for the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Cleveland campaign. “By committing to this goal in the Climate Action Plan, the mayor is showing that the city stands with the community.”
“As the City of Cleveland’s new draft of the Climate Action Plan notes, the effects of climate change disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color,” notes Kent Whitley, co-chair of Black Environmental Leaders and chairman of the Cleveland NAACP Environmental Justice and Climate Committee. “To move forward, we need a new, cleaner, more equitable face of innovation and leadership that benefits the many, not just the few.”
Upon adoption of the goal, Cleveland would join 74 other U.S. cities that have committed to transition to 100% clean energy, the Sierra Club notes.
Footage from the event can be found here.