There are now 25 cities and towns in the US committed to sourcing 100 per cent of their power from renewables, after Madison in Wisconsin and Abita Springs in Louisiana both agreed last week to draw up plans to reach the target.
Following respective city council votes, both cities have become the first within their states to commit to sourcing 100 per cent renewable power, and have joined green organisation Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign aimed at getting 100 US cities to commit to the ambitious target.
Abita Springs Town Council has set a goal of deriving 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by the end of 2030, while Madison Common Council members unanimously agreed to allocate $250,000 to develop a plan by January 18 next year including target dates for the goal.
According to Sierra Club, last week’s commitments to the campaign demonstrate growing bipartisan awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of boosting clean power generation in the US.
In November’s US elections, more than 70 per cent of votes in Madison supported Hillary Clinton for President, while nearly 75 per cent of votes in the parish in which Abita Springs is located supported Donald Trump.
“Whether you’re Republican or a Democrat, from a liberal college city or a rural Louisiana town, clean energy is putting America back to work and benefitting communities across the country,” said Jodie Van Horn, director of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign. “As the Trump Administration turns its back on clean air and clean water, cities and local leaders will continue to step up to lead the transition towards healthy communities and a more vibrant economy powered by the renewable energy.”
Abita Strings’ Republican mayor, Greg Lemons, said transitioning to 100 per cent renewables was a practical decision for the environment and the economy in the town.
He added the plan for reaching the target would focus on solar power. “Politics has nothing to do with it for me,” said Lemons. “Clean energy just makes good economic sense.”
Madison Common Council’s Alder, Zach Wood, said the commitment demonstrated the city’s determination to move beyond fossil fuels for the benefit of human health and the environment. “These goals will drive a clean energy economy that creates local jobs, provides affordable and sustainable electricity, and results in cleaner air and water,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state of California has reportedly set a new clean energy record.
According to environmentalist and 350.org founder Bill McKibben, the state sourced 56.7 per cent of its power from renewables at midday yesterday.