Monday, May 22, 2017

Mayor Philip Levine Endorses Goal Of 100% Clean Energy on Miami Beach

Mayor Philip Levine displays proclamation with Ready for 100 activists.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine issued a proclamation last Wednesday supporting an aim to power the densely-populated barrier island entirely with clean and renewable energy. Miami Beach, known for its wide beaches and pastel-colored art-deco hotels, is one of the cities most-threatened by climate change's rising seas.

Supporting the measure at City Hall were 12 Sierra Club Miami Group members, and representatives of allies Miami Surfrider and 350 South Florida who held signs that read "Clean Energy For All." The Mayor also proclaimed Wednesday, May 17, "Sierra Club Day."

Tens of thousands join Hands Across the Sand
on Miami Beach against fossil fuels in 2010
Emily Gorman, representing the Sierra Club, thanked the Mayor and Commission and said clean energy presents an opportunity "not just for our pocketbooks, but for our communities and our economies."

City staffers shared plans to update their Climate Action Plan, and Vice-Mayor Kristen Rosen Gonzalez introduced a measure to commit the city's municipal buildings to 100% clean and renewable energy supply by 2025. In addition, all City Commissioners voiced their support for Sierra Club and its Ready for 100 campaign to shift cities to 100 percent clean and renewable energy.

“As mayor of Miami Beach, I am proud to support a vision of 100 percent clean energy for my community.  Our vibrant, historic city will be a model for other communities around the world on the importance of addressing the threat of climate change. We have already taken steps to expand renewable energy and we will continue to improve our infrastructure and innovate clean energy solutions for a stronger Miami Beach,” said Mayor Levine. 

Mayor Levine is a national co-chair of the new Mayors for 100% Clean Energy, a new effort to engage and recruit mayors to endorse a goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy in cities across the country.

“Cities can help lead the transition away from dirty fuels to renewable energy, but it will require boldness and ambition to get it done," said Frank Jackalone, Sierra Club Florida Chapter Director. "The Sierra Club applauds Mayor Levine for supporting a vision of powering Miami Beach with 100 percent clean, renewable energy."

Florida created more than 1,700 new jobs in the state’s growing solar industry last year, according to a report released earlier this year by The Solar Foundation. Florida is now home to 8,260 solar jobs—an increase of 26 percent from 2015 figures. According to the Solar Foundation, the Miami metropolitan area gained 811 solar jobs from 2015 to 2016, representing a 31 percent increase.

Miami Beach will host the U.S. Mayors Conference June 23-26. Sierra Club Ready For 100 nationwide campaign leaders will meet in Miami Beach to participate in trainings and other events that week.