On Wednesday, the Chicago City Council unanimously voted to establish a goal of transitioning the entire city to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035.
According to the Sierra Club, Chicago becomes the largest city in the country to make this commitment.
The resolution was championed by the Ready For 100 Chicago Collective, a coalition consisting of several community- and state-based organizations, including the Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, the Chicago Youth Alliance for Climate Action, People for Community Recovery, the Respiratory Health Association, The Climate Reality Project Chicago Chapter, SEIU Local 1, and the Citizens Utility Board.
The resolution directs the Mayor’s Office Sustainability Team, in partnership with the Ready for 100 Chicago Collective and other community groups and stakeholders, to develop a community-wide transition plan by December 2020 for achieving 100% renewable electricity. It also calls for a complete electrification of the Chicago Transit Authority’s bus fleet by 2040.
Chicago joins 118 other municipalities across the U.S. already committed to 100% clean energy community-wide, including Evanston, Ill.
“Setting the goal to power our city with 100 percent clean, renewable energy is a monumental achievement. It is through bold, local action that we can enable meaningful participation and cultivate strong benefits for our local communities throughout this process,” comments Kyra Woods, Chicago organizer with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Action Campaign. “That is why this resolution is grounded in community partnership and reflects shared values and priorities that are intended to support an equitable transition for the city.”
Brian Urbaszewski, director of environmental health programs at the Respiratory Health Association, adds, “In recent years, the Midwest has become a leading national force in clean energy, with Chicago at the heart of it. Yet far too many Chicago residents still face health threats from climate change and smog. Unfortunately, the brunt of such health challenges falls on already vulnerable communities that have the least ability to deal with those effects.
“In setting the path firmly towards achieving an inclusive and just 100 percent clean energy goal, city leadership will ensure Chicagoans breathe cleaner air and face fewer dangers of global warming while the city drives equitable clean energy investment toward communities to create jobs for local residents, increase community prosperity and build a brighter future.”