St. Petersburg First in Florida to Commit to 100% Clean Energy
The city has signed on to the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign.
ST. PETERSBURG – St. Petersburg has become the first city in Florida to commit to clean, renewable energy.
The decision to sign on to the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign came in November when the St. Petersburg City Council voted unanimously to dedicate $800,000 of its BP settlement funds toward modeling vulnerabilities to sea-level rise, energy analyses and efficiency retrofits for city facilities and creating an integrated sustainability action plan that will in part chart a roadmap to 100 percent renewable energy for the entire community.
St. Petersburg is the 20th city in the U.S. and the first in Florida to make a commitment to the Ready for 100 campaign.
The Sierra Club sees the Ready for 100 campaign as way to transform communities, the economy and the environment. The vision is for every community to be powered by clean energy sources, where no child has to stay home because of an asthma attack from dirty air and where people can find good jobs in industries that help protect our planet, not pollute it.
On Friday (Dec. 9), Mayor Rick Kriseman outlined more steps in St. Petersburg’s plan during a joint press conference with USFSP Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska. Wisniewska announced the creation of a climate action plan to achieve the university’s goal of full carbon neutrality by 2050.
“This is the most robust, comprehensive climate planning initiative St. Petersburg has ever undertaken,” Kriseman said. “Working towards 100 percent clean energy and zero waste is just one way we continue to build our city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play.”
The integrated sustainability action plan, or ISAP, is a comprehensive strategy to achieve the city’s sustainability and resiliency goals, including avoiding floods and sewage spills, hardening against wind damage and power outages, reducing energy costs and waterfront property insurance rates, and transitioning to a 100 percent clean energy system. In addition, the ISAP will aim to promote job creation, stimulate private investment, and generally enhance the City’s economic development.
First steps include an overall audit of the city’s energy use. While that is ongoing, city officials plan mini-audits with USF students as well as retrofitting and establishing other strategies to save energy.
St. Petersburg council member Darden Rice told an interviewer at ThinkProgress that energy-saving steps are crucial.
“There is no cavalry left. We are the cavalry,” Rice said. “It’s left up to cities to be the innovators, to be the agents of change, and to do it in a practical way.”
For information about St. Petersburg, go to stpete.org.
For information about the Suncoast Sierra Club, go to sierraclub.org.
Ready for 100 artwork courtesy of the Suncoast Sierra Club.
St. Petersburg | Ready for 100 | Sierra Club | Environment | Climate | TB Reporter
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