With the interest of the environment at hand, more than 100 cities worldwide are almost entirely powered by renewable energy. The CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, measures and manages companies and cities environmental impacts and in their most recent tally concluded that these cities get their electricity from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, solar and wind.
Of the 570 cities, which provided the CDP with their environmental data, 100 cities get at least 70 percent of their energy from renewables, 40 cities operate on 100 percent renewable energy and many have committed to run on 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
“Reassuringly, our data shows much commitment and ambition,” Kyra Appleby, director of cities at CDP, said. ” Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy but, most importantly – they can. We urge all cities to disclose to us, work together to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and prioritize the development of ambitious renewable energy procurement strategies. The time to act is now.”
The list of 100 includes large cities such as Auckland, New Zealand; Nairobi, Kenya; Oslo, Norway; and Vancouver, Canada, and four U.S. cities, Aspen, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; Eugene, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington.
Of the 40 cities operating on 100 percent renewable energy includes Burlington, Vermont. Vermont’s largest city not only has its own utility and citywide grid, it obtains a;; of its electricity from wind, solar, hydro and biomass, according to the CDP.
“Burlington, Vermont is proud to have been the first city in the United States to source 100 percent of our power from renewable generation,” Miro Weinberger, Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, said. “Through our diverse mix of biomass, hydro, wind, and solar, we have seen first-hand that renewable energy boosts our local economy and creates a healthier place to work, live, and raise a family. We encourage other cities around the globe to follow our innovative path as we all work toward a more sustainable energy future.”
The growing trend worldwide has cities aiming to divest from fossil fuel to renewable, clean energy by 2050. And the CDP reported that their “data highlights how cities are stepping up action on climate change with a sharp rise in environmental reporting, emissions reduction targets and climate action plans since 2015.”
The U.S. declared 58 cities and towns have committed to transition to clean, renewable energy including major cities such as Atlanta, Georgia and San Diego, California.
Renewable energy continues to be the “cheapest source of electricity in 30 countries in 2017,” according to the World Economic Forum. The World Economic Forum also predicts clean energy to be “consistently more cost effective than fossil fuels globally by 2020.”
The CDP names these 100 cities on the heels of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conference in Edmonton, Canada on March 5 where leaders will come together to talk about climate change and their role in reducing their carbon footprint.
While many cities are investing in the low-carbon future, Europe is leading the way. But as developing countries around the world are also “recognizing the opportunities of low-carbon infrastructure,” political ambition is also building and many city government and science leaders are pledging to shift to clean energy by 2050.
“Cities are key to a low-carbon future,” Appleby said. “And pioneers across the world are already demonstrating that the transition is possible.”
Click here for a full list of cities operating on renewable energy.