Lawmakers and politicians generally are not considered the most prominent clean energy advocates, but something seems to be changing — why else would 300 of them get behind it? Their interest has come to a central focus point due to the Paris climate change talks that just took place, and they all signed a letter to President Obama expressing their support for clean energy.
Mayor Jeri Muoio of West Palm Beach, FL, Mayor Frank Cownie of Des Moines, IA, and additional state and local leaders are members of a coalition with hundreds of lawmakers supporting the goal of 50% clean energy by 2030. California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León also is part of the group. “By promoting the development of clean energy resources, we are simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and creating jobs that can lift families out of poverty. With SB 350 now enacted into law, we’re on track to reach 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 and we’re not looking back. If Congress won’t act, it’s incumbent on state and local leaders to do the job for them.”
Cownie has supported climate change awareness to make cities more able to withstand extreme weather. “Local governments have always been the leaders on climate action, but we need more support from the federal government. We need better local-federal coordination on disaster preparedness, and we need them to address our aging and inadequate infrastructure, which has been under-funded for far too long. I am proud to be a part of the Resilient Communities for America campaign to help raise awareness and visibility on these issues,” he explained.
He made that statement over 2 years ago, and was included in a list of US mayors that were trying to address climate change in their cities.
West Palm Beach’s mayor Jeri Muoio was supporting solar energy 4 years ago, so her involvement is not a spur-of-the-moment reaction either. “The most obvious benefactor is our environment. But the jobs created as the components are manufactured and installed will also boost the local economy. And those who go green will realize a great reduction in energy costs over time. It’s really a win-win for West Palm Beach and the county as a whole,” said Muoio.
One particularly encouraging thing about this recent conference is that people who were in the position to make policy decisions seemed to be listening to the climate change scientists (for the most part).
Of course, solar power has never been more affordable, so investing in more it should be easier than it has ever been. Energy storage is becoming more available, and appears to be doing so faster than solar power became viable.
Image Credit: Valerie Tchachnko, Wiki Commons