The Saint Petersburg City Council formally approved on Monday the city’s commitment to transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. Saint Petersburg represents the first city in Florida and the 20th city in the country to make such a commitment.
In a unanimous vote, the City Council Committee of the Whole allocated $250K of BP Oil Spill settlement funds to an “Integrated Sustainability Action Plan,” which will chart a roadmap to 100 percent clean, renewable energy in Saint Petersburg. In addition, the plan also incorporates components of a climate action plan, a resiliency plan and strategies for Saint Petersburg to achieve a 5 STAR Community rating. The 100 percent clean energy roadmap builds on Mayor Rick Kriseman’s executive order establishing a net-zero energy goal for the city earlier in 2016.
“The movement for clean energy in cities and towns across the country is now more important than ever,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said.
“Saint Petersburg joins 19 other cities from San Diego, California to Greensburg, Kansas that will lead the way to support equitable and inclusive communities built on 100 percent clean, renewable energy for all. Whether you’re from a red state or blue state, clean energy works for everyone and local leaders will continue to move forward to create more jobs, stronger communities, and cleaner air and water.”
Mayor Kriesman will share more information on the Integrated Sustainability Action Plan at a press conference on Dec. 9 on the steps of City Hall. The chancellor of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg will also make an announcement about the university’s recently-completed climate action plan.
“The Integrated Sustainability Action Plan builds on my executive order on sustainability by creating a roadmap to achieve the city’s long-term sustainability goals,” Mayor Kriseman said. “Working towards 100 percent 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.”
Organizations that support the Ready for 100% St. Pete campaign include Oceana, Environment Florida, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Sunshine State Interfaith Power & Light, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, LocalShops1, Center for Biological Diversity, Chart 411, Craftsman House, The Burg Bar & Grill and St. Peace House.
“This is a historic moment for St. Pete,” Emily Gorman, campaign manager for Suncoast Sierra Club’s Ready for 100% St. Pete, said. “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 percent clean, renewable energy will ensure a more resilient, sustainable and equitable future for all our residents.”