100% Renewable Energy in American Cities
Adopted at the 85th Annual Meeting in 2017
WHEREAS, renewable energy represents an enormous economic opportunity for our nation and our nation's cities to create jobs in an emerging industry, increase economic security, expand prosperity for local residents, reduce air pollution and associated public health risks, reduce the strain on water resources, save consumers money, and address environmental justice challenges in communities; and ?
WHEREAS, ??renewable energy?? includes energy derived from wind, solar, geothermal, and wave technology; and
WHEREAS, some forms of biomass may be considered ??renewable energy?? after being evaluated for sustainability and environmental justice implications; and
WHEREAS, ??renewable energy?? specifically excludes energy derived from fossil fuels, nuclear, incineration of municipal and medical waste, and any large-scale future hydroelectric development; and
WHEREAS, the transition to renewable energy will improve air and water quality and protect the health of our families, particularly the most vulnerable across our communities; and
WHEREAS, according to the Department of Energy, the cost of wind power is down 41 percent since 2008 and solar costs are down between 54 percent and 64 percent in that same period; and
WHEREAS, more than twenty-five U.S. cities, including Columbia, SC, San Diego, CA, Salt Lake City, UT, and San Jose, CA have already adopted ambitious 100 percent clean, renewable energy goals, and six U.S. Cities, including aspen, CO, Burlington, VT, Greensburg, KS, Kodiak Island, AK, and Rock Port, MO have already hit their targets to generate 100 percent of the energy used community-wide from clean, non-polluting and renewable sources; and
WHEREAS, individuals, families, businesses, and institutions throughout the nation seek greater energy freedom through the expansion of local and distributed energy resources like photovoltaic solar and electric vehicles; and
WHEREAS, rooftop solar, low-income community solar, energy efficiency, and demand control technologies offer the opportunity to equitably distribute resources, address poverty, stimulate new economic activity in our nation's cities, and lift up those most impacted by high energy costs; and
WHEREAS, actions by local government and businesses are already a significant driver of renewable energy growth and can put the country on track to meet its commitment to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,?that the United States Conference of Mayors supports cities establishing a community-wide target of powering their communities with 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2035; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors proclaims its commitment to equity, affordability, public participation, and access for all people in America as cities pursue this transition to 100% clean, renewable energy; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that priority should be given to the lowest cost measures to meet energy needs including efficiency, weatherization, cogeneration, district heating and cooling, decentralized electricity generation and smart grids/micro grids, the use of industrial waste heat, building controls, automated lighting, solar-powered hot water heaters and programs that create an energy-saving culture in our nation's cities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that given the economic development, job creation, and job training potential of clean, renewable energy, the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy should include structured mechanisms to include low-income citizens in the benefits to be derived from the transition, including creating quality careers adhering to local source hiring, a just transition for workers displaced by fossil fuel reduction, equitable access through ownership and benefits to create new opportunity for historically marginalized communities, and affordable clean energy options.