The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Minneapolis Becomes 65th U.S. City to Adopt 100% Renewables Goal
Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey announced Friday the city's pledge to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity for municipal facilities and operations by 2022 and citywide by 2030.
"Climate change is one of the gravest challenges we face, and renewable energy is one of the solutions," said Council Member Cam Gordon, co-author of the resolution. "This resolution builds on the work of our adopted Climate Action Plan, and will help us reach our aggressive goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050."
The City Coordinator's Office has now been directed to bring forward a blueprint by the first quarter of 2019 on how to reach this ambitious goal.
The blueprint will also include strategies "to ensure that all consumers, especially those who have been left out of the benefits of energy programs in the past, communities of color, low-income communities, renters, and communities that have borne the brunt of past environmental racism, receive equitable benefit from this transition."
Council Member Steve Fletcher, co-author of the resolution noted, "In addition to being the right thing to do for the planet, investing in renewable energy allows us to keep more energy generation revenue in the city and create jobs for Minneapolis people of color who have been historically excluded from the old energy economy."
Renewable energy is Minnesota's second largest source of electricity generation, besting nuclear power but trailing coal, the Star Tribune reported last month. The newspaper observed that cost of wind energy in the state now appears lower than electricity produced from both natural gas and coal, even without tax subsidies.
Minnesota also has abundant solar energy. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized St. Paul and Minneapolis as "Solar America Cities."
In contrast to the U.S. government's current push for fossil fuels, many American cities and municipalities are playing a key role in the clean energy revolution by committing to 100 percent renewables. They include Atlanta; Boulder, Colorado; Orlando, Florida; Madison, Wisconsin; Portland, Oregon; Rochester, Minnesota; St. Louis; Saint Louis Park, Minnesota; San Francisco; San Diego and Salt Lake City.
In addition to the city's pledge, Mayor Frey also joined the Sierra Club's Mayors for 100% Clean Energy initiative, a growing coalition of nearly 200 mayors aiming to transition their communities to clean energy.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.
Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.
Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.
Hundreds of Amazon workers publicly criticized the company's climate policies Sunday, showing open defiance of the company following its threats earlier this month to fire workers who speak out on climate change.
East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.