U.S. Mayors Show Leadership in Green EnergyWednesday 5th July 2017
Unlike the current federal administration in the United States, the Mayors of many U.S. cities are showing leadership in promoting energy efficiency, renewable electricity and low-carbon transportation according to a recent survey. This positive action to tackle climate change became apparent last week at the U.S. Cobference of Mayors in Miami, Florida.
The survey has been jointly conducted by The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). The two organisations have partnered to form the Alliance for a Sustainable Future, and the primary results have been published.
The survey, released on Saturday at USCM’s 85th annual conference, also found overwhelming interest by cities in collaborating with the private sector to accelerate climate efforts, and identified several opportunities to do so.
Among the key findings:
- 69% of responding cities generate or purchase renewable electricity to power city buildings or operations. An additional 22% are considering doing so.
- 63% already buy green vehicles, including hybrid, electric, natural gas, and biodiesel, for their municipal fleets. 30 percent are considering it.
- 71% have energy efficiency policies for new municipal buildings, and 66% for existing municipal buildings.
Responses to the survey have come from 66 U.S. cities, ranging in size from 21,000 to 8.5 million residents across 30 states. These cities spend more than $1.2 billion annually in electricity, representing significant purchasing power that can help shape the market.
The survey, which will be open through the summer, marks the launch by USCM and C2ES of an ongoing effort to collect information on progress cities are making in response to climate change, identify innovative solutions, and share them with mayors nationwide. Examples will include opportunities for public-private partnerships to help cities achieve their emissions-cutting goals not only within their own municipal operations and facilities but also community-wide.
The survey shows overwhelming interest by cities in working with one another (90%) and with the private sector (87%) to accelerate climate action, a finding that takes on even more importance following President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement—an agreement both organisations strongly supported.
The survey found opportunities for greater collaboration. For example:
• Roughly half of responding cities are incentivising energy efficiency in new and existing commercial and residential buildings.
• Less than half have policies or programs that help citizens and businesses choose renewable electricity options.
• 66% of responding cities have public charging stations, while 36% are facilitating private infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Wednesday 5th July 2017