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Dunedin Commits to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy

Clean Energy | Solar Energy | Environment

Dunedin joins St. Petersburg and Largo in committing to 100 percent community-wide clean, renewable energy by 2050.

DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission has unanimously approved a  resolution establishing a goal of powering municipal operations entirely with renewable sources of energy by 2035, and community-wide by 2050.

“The city couldn’t be more excited to take this next step in making the world a better place. We signed on to the  Mayors for 100% Clean Energy  and now we are taking our commitment to the next level. Our commission and our Citizen Committee on Environmental Quality believe strongly in setting the example for our residents’ future,” Dunedin Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski said.

James Scott, executive committee chair of the Sierra Club Suncoast Group, praised the move.

“Lately,  we’ve heard a lot about the risks and dangers posed by climate change,” Scott said. “Today, Dunedin’s leadership is telling a new story — one of optimism and opportunity. Communities who step up to build a clean energy future today will have a competitive economic edge tomorrow. This commitment, combined with those of St. Petersburg and Largo, means that approximately 40 percent of residents in Pinellas County — Florida’s most densely populated county — live in a place committed to 100 percent clean energy. We’re approaching a very positive tipping point.”

Thursday’s (Dec. 6) vote makes Dunedin the  101st city in the nation  to commit to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.  Dunedin joins five other cities in Florida —  Largo,  St. Petersburg, Orlando,  Gainesville and  Sarasota  — in establishing a goal of being powered by 100 percent renewable sources.

“Congratulations to Dunedin for joining the movement towards 100 percent clean energy. There’s strength in numbers — and by working together to change our shared energy system, more Pinellas County residents will enjoy the benefits of healthy and affordable energy,”  St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said.

Additionally, 26 local businesses and organizations signed a  letter of support for Dunedin’s goal.

“Providing access to 100 percent clean and affordable energy aligns with our vision, values, and mission as a company. It translates directly to clean air and water, and is a commitment to sustainable farming, protecting our food supply and our quality of life. It is not only a commitment to each other, but the planet as a whole,”  said Mike Henkel, of Nature’s Food Patch, a long-time locally owned and operated business in Clearwater and now Dunedin. Nature’s Food Patch is one of the 26 Dunedin businesses and non-profit organizations that signed on to support the 100 percent clean energy initiative.

Advocates of the move to 100 percent clean, renewable energy said Dunedin is known for its world-class beaches — Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island State Parks — and walkability. A coastal city, Dunedin is especially vulnerable to effects of climate change like sea level rise and destructive storms.

The proponents point to recent studies like the  Fourth National Climate Assessment  and  International Panel on Climate Change report, which  show that climate change is a major threat to communities — and a transition away from polluting dirty fuels to renewables is imperative to avoid the worst effects of climate disruption.

Dunedin | Environment | Clean Energy | Renewable Energy | Tampabay News

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