Chicago becomes largest US city to commit to 100% clean energy

Source: By Kristin Musulinm, Utility Dive • Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The commitments fall in line with overall efforts from local governments to become more climate-focused — according to a 2018 survey from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, 60% of respondent cities have launched or expanded a climate policy in the previous 12 months, while 57% of respondents were planning climate action.

And while federal leadership on clean energy and climate action is lacking, cities have support from organizations like Bloomberg Philanthropies, which earlier this year announced the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator to offer cities technical support and guidance in achieving renewable energy goals. Organizations like The Solar Foundation and Environment America are also acting as critical supporters of such efforts, helping to offer data and research around the trend.

While this is an exciting advancement for Chicago, this isn’t the first time the city has focused on a shift to renewable energy. Mayor Rahm Emanuel adopted the Chicago Renewable Energy Challenge Programin 2017 to encourage businesses to develop and support renewable energy generation by 2035. CTA has also worked to expand its electric bus fleet over the last few years, most recently investing in new fleets of Proterra buses in an effort to “make Chicago one of the greenest cities in the world.

More than 100 other cities across the U.S., including large metropolitan leaders like Atlanta, St. Louis and San Francisco, have already committed to the transition to 100% clean energy.