Wednesday, May 8, 2019

South Miami Becomes Eighth Florida City Committed 100% Clean and Renewable Energy

On the evening of May 7, 2019, South Miami residents and Sierra Club Miami volunteers gathered at South Miami City Hall to support and celebrate the City’s commitment to 100% clean and renewable energy community-wide by 2040. The City Commission of South Miami unanimously passed a resolution committing the City to transition by 2040 with a timeline and milestones for implementation. The resolution emphasizes a just and equitable transition to 100 percent clean energy, and includes a commitment for the city to work with community stakeholders to implement its goal.  The City will begin a planning process with community members in the coming months, and hopes for widespread participation.
Sierra Club Miami volunteers gather at City Hall to show support.
South Miami has a history of environmental leadership, from committing to carbon neutral municipal operations, participating in the creation of the Green Corridor PACE financing district, and leading Solar United Neighbors of Florida to expand solar purchasing cooperatives into South Florida. Recently, the City became the first municipality outside of California to require all new construction include solar energy systems.

“South Miami's new commitment to a 100 percent clean and renewable energy supply community-wide is the natural extension of our history of commitment to the planet, our children, and the natural world. Now we have roll up our sleeves, fill out our budget, and move this commitment from paper to reality. We invite our neighboring municipalities to join us in transforming our economy and infrastructure to a more sustainable way of life," said South Miami Mayor Phil Stoddard.

With this resolution, South Miami became the first city in south Florida, the 122nd city in the U.S., and the eighth city in a growing group of Florida cities that includes Dunedin, Gainesville, Largo, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Tallahassee to commit to this goal. Sierra Club Miami Group and Ready for 100 volunteers had been working with the City of South Miami and their Green Task Force on a 100% renewable energy supply for the last year.  After a series of resident interviews, community meetings, and townhall events, volunteers worked with the Green Task Force to write a timeline and implementation plan.  In the weekend preceding the vote, 252 petition signatures poured in and the City Commission to accelerated their transition timeline from 2050 to 2040!  In addition, the City has also begun taking steps on their commitment to carbon neutral transportation. This month, staff began taking steps to implement their transition plan, known as the Intermodal Transportation Plan, including developing their first federal grant request for electric buses.

“Communities across Florida know firsthand what the climate crisis means for our future. To build healthier, resilient, and strong communities and local economies, we need to focus on our contributions to a global issue that will touch families in our community and across the world. Congratulations to South Miami for leading the way locally -- the Sierra Club looks forward to working with the City to implement its vision for 100 percent clean, renewable energy. In the Sunshine State, solar can be our ticket to powering forward a better future for all,” said Noel Cleland, Political Committee Chair of the Florida Sierra Club Miami Group.

Sierra Club Florida congratulates Miami Group, City of South Miami and Ready for 100 volunteers on this success, and looks forward to the start of the community-planning process! Big thanks also to the local solar homeowners for their time and support! Learn more about how they went solar and saved at Solar United Neighbors.  #CleanEnergyForAll #Readyfor100Action