Washington, DC— A new report released today by the Alliance for a Sustainable Future – a joint effort from the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) – shows that nation’s mayors and the private sector are taking action to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon pollution despite the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic and increasing climate change impacts.
In the report released today, The Alliance features case studies from West Sacramento, St. Louis, St. Petersburg, and Asheville, highlighting public-private partnerships that are advancing climate solutions and promoting a new green economy.
“Action on climate change has been a priority for mayors for decades, but the urgency to make progress in ways that ensure not only sustainability within our cities, but environmental justice for all who live within them has never been greater,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, USCM President. “The Alliance for a Sustainable Future’s new report shows what’s possible when public and private sectors work together to achieve meaningful progress on one of the most pressing challenges facing cities across the country.”
“Cities are the testing grounds for potentially game-changing policies and technologies that can leave us better prepared for the impacts of climate change. The programs and policies outlined here improve the lives of Americans, and the mayors and businesses who champion them are building a foundation for a more resilient and sustainable future. The Alliance for a Sustainable Future will continue to support mayors who are pushing the limits of innovation and moving climate progress forward,” said Bob Perciasepe, President of C2ES.
The case studies highlighted in the report are:
- West Sacramento – On Demand, Mayor Martha Guerrero and Former Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
In 2018, in collaboration with Via, the City of West Sacramento launched an innovative public rideshare program to offer its community an affordable, accessible, and sustainable mobility option throughout the city that is more environmentally friendly and versatile than traditional buses. On Demand offers riders a flat price rate of transportation while also allowing them to share rides with other passengers, which provides the additional benefit of addressing climate change and meeting the city’s environmental goals by decreasing GHG emissions.
- St. Louis – Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS), Mayor Lyda Krewson
In May 2020, St. Louis became only the fourth city nationwide and the first in the Midwest to pass the St. Louis Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS), which mandates significant reductions in building energy use. The city will set building energy standards for each property type by May 2021, and buildings have until May 2025 to reduce their energy to comply. The effort was heavily dependent upon philanthropic resources to pass such a local sustainable policy.
- St. Louis – Solar Workforce Program, Mayor Lyda Krewson
St. Louis launched an ambitious solar workforce program with the intent to bring green new job opportunities to local residents, specifically those in disadvantaged populations. The training program included local partners such as Straight Up Solar and Employment Connections which gave participants an introduction into solar PV energy as well as overall job readiness.
- St. Petersburg, – St. Petersburg Clean Energy Future: Spotlight on Transportation, Mayor Rick Kriseman
The City of St. Petersburg has committed to reaching 100% clean energy by the year 2035. To accomplish this, the city has developed a Clean Energy Roadmap to act as a blueprint for how this ambitious goal will be accomplished. The case study focuses on the city’s transportation sector and highlights major programs and projects such as the city’s Complete Streets program, developing a bus rapid transit system, and the Duke Park and Plug program which establishes EV charging stations throughout the city.
- Asheville, North Carolina – Blue Horizons Project
The City of Asheville and Buncombe County, in collaboration with Duke Energy, created an initiative called the Blue Horizons Project to bring community voices to the forefront of clean energy planning. The initiative brings together local members of the community, businesses, and institutions to discuss and promote energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities. The success of the project led to the eventual delay/retirement of Duke Energy’s proposed natural gas fire plant near the city.
The full report can be found here.