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U.S. mayors launch new sustainable power push for cities

Mayors for 100% Clean Energy asks leaders to commit their cities to 100 percent clean energy

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A groups of U.S. mayors announced a new drive to encourage sustainable energy yesterday, imploring colleagues across the country to make pledges and push their cities to adopt roadmaps to transition to renewable power.

Building upon the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign, the new Mayors for 100% Clean Energy national initiative aims to encourage more cities and municipalities to make a clean energy pledge in advance of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which meets in Miami Beach, Florida, in June.

Cities have become much more active in reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change, especially in the wake of changes at the EPA and the new administration’s stance on climate change. International organizations such as the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group have banded together to share ideas and promote sustainable development, while many current and former civic leaders in the United States, such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have been outspoken about the important role cities have to play in promoting sustainability. Recently, the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, a group founded by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, released an electric vehicle request-for-information to automakers, to demonstrate the potential market for electric vehicles in urban centers.

Mayors for 100% Clean Energy will be co-chaired by a group of U.S. civic leaders, including Mayor Philip Levine of Miami Beach, Mayor Jackie Biskupski of Salt Lake City, Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer of San Diego.

“As mayor of Miami Beach, I am proud to support a vision of 100 percent clean energy for my community,” said Mayor Levine in a statement. “Climate change may be the challenge of our generation, but it is also the opportunity of a lifetime. The transition to clean and renewable energy will both help Miami Beach confront climate change and strengthen our local economy. Cities can lead the way and, as co-chair of Mayors for 100% Clean Energy, I am honored to stand with mayors across the country in supporting 100 percent clean energy.”

Currently, 26 cities in the United States have committed to making a transition to clean and renewable energy, including San Diego, and big cities such as Los Angeles and Denver are studying how to make the shift.