Wednesday, July 12, 2017

U.S. Mayors Embrace Clean Energy at Miami Beach Conference


Mayors L-R: Henry (Dayton Beach, FL), Benjamin
(Columbia, SC), Kriseman (St.Pete, FL),
Biskupski (Salt Lake City, UT)
The U.S. Conference of Mayors approved a historic resolution that establishes support from the nation’s mayors for the goal of moving to 100% clean and renewable energy in cities nationwide. Meeting June 23-26 in Miami Beach, the Conference hosted leaders from more than 250 cities.

The weekend kicked off with Sierra Club’s “Sunrise for Solar,” a human aerial art image on the beach behind the conference hotel, which aimed at encouraging the U.S. Conference of Mayors to adopt the resolution. The bipartisan group of mayors unanimously backed the commitment for U.S. cities to run entirely on renewable sources such as wind and solar in two decades.

The Sierra Club’s new Mayors for 100% Clean Energy campaign was launched nationally this spring and is co-chaired by Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine. Jodie Van Horn, national Sierra Club organizer of the Ready for 100 campaign, attended the conference, and met with a group of Sierra Club leaders from across the state.


Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine and Sierra Club
Ready for 100 Campaign Director Jodie Van Horn 
So far, 36 cities across the United States have now committed to transition to 100% renewable energy, and 129 mayors have signed onto this vision.

“Cities don't need to wait for Washington, D.C. to act in order to move the ball forward on clean energy,”  said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.

Sierra Club’s Emily Gorman worked tirelessly, along with a core team of volunteers, to pull off the early-morning aerial art on the beach.  It required renowned aerial artist John Quigley to create the design to scale and organize over 100 volunteers to form the letters in the sand with the aid of beach chairs and umbrellas. The image was broadcast nationally on news outlets and social media.

Past measures at the U.S. Conference of Mayors have been instrumental in setting standards and providing resources to cities, says Gorman. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, for example, was the result of efforts at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. For the first time in U.S. history, the EECBG program made it possible for cities, counties and states to receive grants specifically to fund energy-efficiency projects.

Shifting from dirty fossil fuels to clean sources of energy like wind and solar strengthens communities by spurring economic growth, addressing climate change, and reducing pollution, says Gorman. “These leaders recognize the importance of lower energy costs, improved public health, and stable, local jobs in protecting the physical and financial well-being of their residents.”

Sierra Club Florida  has the support of many other environmental groups and community organizations across the state involved in the Ready for 100 clean energy campaign.

Congratulations to these Florida mayors for joining the Ready for 100% Clean Energy campaign:

Rick Kriseman-St. Petersburg
Willie Shaw-Sarasota
Phillip Levine - Miami Beach
Jeri Muoio - West Palm Beach
Richard Kaplan  - Lauderhill
Phil Stoddard - South Miami
Eugene Flinn - Palmetto Bay
Daniel Dietch - Surfside
John Adornato - Oakland Park
Harry Dressler - Tamarac
Buddy Dyer - Orlando
Michael Ryan - Sunrise
Greg Ross - Cooper City
Lamar Fisher - Pompano Beach
Judy Paul - Town of Davie
Cary Glickstein - Delray Beach
Derrick Henry - Daytona Beach
Gary Resnick - Wilton Manors

To learn more about Ready for 100, contact Phil Compton at Phil.compton@sierraclub.org