The Reading City Council in Pennsylvania has unanimously voted to adopt a resolution establishing a goal of powering the entire community with 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050.
Reading is the 19th community in Pennsylvania to commit to this goal, according to the Sierra Club, as well as the 130th nationally.
With this resolution, the city is now committed to transitioning “municipal-owned facilities and equipment to clean, renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 percent clean, renewable energy for heat and transportation by 2040.” The resolution also includes a community-wide transition of the electricity supply by 2035 and “in all energy-use sectors including transportation by 2050.”
In order to reach those goals, the city will create a Municipal Energy Master Plan to transition city facilities. It will also create a Clean Energy Plan by July 2020 in partnership with the local community and surrounding municipalities. Priority will be given to energy-efficient and low-cost solutions in order to benefit residents, particularly those who are “low-income and historically marginalized.”
Stephanie Andersen, a creative writing professor at Reading Area Community College and a local Sierra Club volunteer, started “Reading for 100,” a local effort that is part of the Sierra Club’s national Ready for 100 campaign, to advocate for 100% clean energy in Reading. In pushing for this resolution, Andersen and the Reading for 100 team were joined by Make the Road PA, a regional Latinx community advocacy group, and the Sunrise Movement, a nationwide group of youth leaders advocating for climate action.
“What a gift to discover that there are so many others who want what I want – hope for the next generation, the planet and the community we love so much,” says Andersen. “Together, we take action. Working with my community for the change we all know is necessary has been humbling, inspiring and transformative. In fact, I now have faith that Reading will be a leader in removing one of the largest sources of carbon emissions, as well as the impetus for its own growth – evolving in a way that continues to benefit and connect us all.”
“I am excited to see the Reading for 100 group tackling clean energy in the city,” comments Kevin Lugo, sustainability manager for the City of Reading. “This resolution is supported by science, will join Reading with leading cities across the nation and the globe, and will support a crucial piece of the transition towards a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable future. Let this action be a step towards the future our community deserves.”
Photo: Marduk [Public domain]