In a state that still gets nearly 80 percent of its electricity from coal, and in a city that’s a hub for prominent coal companies, the city of St. Louis will try to chart a course to use entirely clean energy by 2035.
The push is sparked by Friday morning’s unanimous passage of Resolution 124 at the city Board of Aldermen meeting, which calls for promoting greater energy efficiency measures and transitioning to wind and solar energy — and away from fossil fuels.
“As a father of four, I’m very excited about that,” said the resolution’s sponsor, Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed. “This is more important now than it has been in the past, because we have a President of the United States who believes that climate change is fake news.”
More than a dozen environmental, advocacy and religious organizations helped support the resolution. While sustainability and climate consciousness were among the top motivating factors to guide the resolution, supporters also largely touted it as a smart business decision for the city to make. Besides the economic incentive of shifting to renewable energy sources that are becoming cheaper and cheaper, they said the move will help the city remain competitive with its peers, particularly with prominent companies viewing renewable energy as an increasingly valuable asset.
The resolution mainly serves to start a discussion about how St. Louis can achieve its outlined energy goals. City officials now will look to begin meeting with outside groups in “a transparent and inclusive stakeholder process” that aims to develop a plan of action by December 2018.