Santa Barbara commits to 100% renewable energy by 2030

Dive Brief:

  • The city of Santa Barbara, CA is the 30th city to commit to a 100% clean energy transition, the Sierra Club announced this week, planning a community-wide goal by 2030 with an interim municipal target in 2020.
  • The move comes amid a wave of cities and states across the country announcing increased support for clean energy following President Trump's decision to leave the Paris climate accord.
  • More than 200 mayors have committed to the goals of the Paris accord, while a dozen states and Puerto Rico have formed the U.S. Climate Alliance to reduce emissions 26% or 28% from below 2005 levels.

Dive Insight:

Amid a wave of increased support for green energy, a growing number of local municipalities are choosing to ditch fossil fuels completely. The vote by Santa Barbara's City Council this week followed a similar move earlier in the month by the Portland City Council in Oregon, along with the Multnomah County Commission.

The moves are a pointed response to the White House's decision to abandon the 195-nation Paris climate accord.

"Cities are stepping up and re-committing to adopt, honor and uphold the Paris climate goals. I'm proud that Santa Barbara just adopted a 100% renewable energy goal and is joining other cities across the nation leading the way on clean energy at the local level,” Mayor Helene Schneider said in a statement.

The Paris accord sought to limit global warming to 2°C this century, but President Trump argued the agreement is a "bad deal for Americans" before announcing the United States intends to withdraw. The country's commitments would have translated into an 80% economywide decarbonization for the U.S. by 2050.

Along with cities pledging 100% renewables, 12 states and Puerto Rico have formed the U.S. Climate Alliance and committed to achieving the goals of the Paris accord. The states, led by California, New York and Washington, plan to reduce emissions 26% or 28% from 2005 levels.

Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement has met pushback from a wide range of interests, from tech companies to fossil fuel producers. Mayors representing more than 50 million residents are also pledging efforts to combat climate change.

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables
Top image credit: Wikipedia