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 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.
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.
The transition to clean energy is an initiative that the Sierra Club has been working on around the country with more than 120 cities pledging to break their fossil fuel addiction.
A transition to 100% clean energy is already underway around the world. In the years ahead, this transition will improve the health and quality of life of millions, slow the disastrous impacts of climate disruption, and help forge a world that is more just and equitable for both current and future generations. A recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and others found that transitioning to 100% clean energy would add 1 million U.S. jobs by 2030 and increase household income. Currently, the fastest-growing jobs in the country are solar panel installer and wind turbine technician. Committing South Miami to 100% renewable energy will bring more of the jobs and benefits of these growing industries here to our community.
“100% Clean and Renewable Energy for the entire community” means a supply of electricity that:
1) Comes from naturally replenishing sources and is zero to low emissions. This includes sources like solar, wind, hydraulic and geothermal but not things like waste incineration or nuclear.
2) Includes every electron used within city limits. Every building, residence, business or municipal property should be using electricity that comes from a clean and renewable source before 2050.
3) Is community-driven and transparently led. All community residents should have an opportunity to participate and know how decisions are made about their energy supply.
4) Leads to the growth of local, stable, long-term jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.
5) Benefits those most impacted by the fossil fuel economy first, especially low income residents, communities of color and industry workers.
A shift to 100% clean, renewable energy is both achievable and affordable. The technologies to get us there already exist and make smart economic sense by saving the economy billions of dollars in avoided health and pollution costs, and stimulating economic growth. In many places, clean energy is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and costs continue to decline.
Congratulations, South Miami!
ABOUT THE SIERRA CLUB
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.