Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey announced the city’s commitment to achieve 100% renewable electricity for municipal facilities and operations by 2022 and citywide by 2030.
The resolution, approved unanimously, was prepared in response to the serious threat of climate change, “the main cause of fossil fuels,” said the mayor of the city.
The city also declared its opposition to the federal rollback of climate policy and reaffirmed its continued commitment to the goals of the Paris accords.
“Climate change is one of the most serious challenges we face, and renewable energy is one of the solutions“Said Cam Gordon, member of the Council, co-author of the resolution. “This resolution builds on the work of our climate action plan and will help us achieve our goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050.“.
The municipal coordinator’s office has been tasked with submitting a plan for the first quarter of 2019 on how to achieve this ambitious goal.
The plan will also include strategies “ensure that all consumers, especially those who have been excluded from the benefits of energy programs in the past, low-income communities, tenants and communities who have suffered the brunt of environmental racism in the past, receive a just benefit from this transition“.
Council member Steve Fletcher, co-author of the resolution, noted: “Besides being the right thing to do for the planet, investing in renewable energy allows us to increase the city’s income and create jobs for people of color in Minneapolis who have been historically excluded from the old energy saving.“.
Renewable energy is Minnesota’s second largest source of electricity, surpassing nuclear power but behind coal.
Minnesota also has abundant solar power. In 2008, the US Department of Energy recognized St. Paul and Minneapolis as “Solar Cities of America”.
Unlike current pressure from the US government for fossil fuels, many US cities and towns are playing a key role in the clean energy revolution by committing to 100% renewable energy. They include Atlanta; Boulder, Colorado; Orlando Florida; Madison, Wisconsin; Portland, Oregon; Rochester, Minnesota; Saint Louis; Saint Louis Park, Minnesota; San Francisco; San Diego and Salt Lake City.
In addition to the city’s pledge, Mayor Frey also joined the initiative Sierra Club Mayors for 100% Clean Energy, a growing coalition of nearly 200 mayors whose goal is to switch their communities to clean energy.