St. Petersburg, Florida this week became the 20th U.S. city to commit to transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy – and is using oil spill settlement funds to do so.
The city council voted unanimously on the change, allocating $250K of BP Oil Spill settlement funds to an “Integrated Sustainability Action Plan” (ISAP), which will chart a roadmap to the complete use of renewable energy in Saint Petersburg. The plan also incorporates components of a climate action plan, a resiliency plan and strategies for the city to achieve a 5 STAR Community rating.
Mayor Rick Kriseman issued an Executive Order earlier this year establishing a net-zero energy goal for the city. “Working towards 100% clean energy and zero waste will help ensure that St. Pete remains a 'city of opportunity where the sun shines on all who come to live, work and play,” Kriseman said in response to the city council’s vote.
Emily Gorman of the Sierra Club called it a “historic moment” for St. Petersburg. “We envision a city where families can raise their kids in communities free from toxic pollution, where everyone has the opportunity for a good job and access to healthy, affordable energy. The transition to 100% clean, renewable energy will ensure a more resilient, sustainable and equitable future for all our residents.”
St. Petersburg is one of the first cities in the nation to join Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 national campaign, aimed at leveraging the power of cities to catalyze a national transition toward renewable energy. Suncoast Sierra Club is a grassroots environmental group comprised of 3,000+ member and 15,000+ supporters. Ready for 100% St. Pete develops residential and commercial pilot programs with partner organizations and raises public awareness of clean energy and climate planning. Visit SuncoastSierra.org
Other U.S. cities that have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy include San Diego, California and Greensburg, Kansas.