Green Cities

Is 100% Renewable a political issue? Afraid not.

To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth Day Network is asking cities to make the pledge to rely 100% on renewable energy by 2050. An ambitious goal to be sure, but one that many of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, as well as several cities around the world, are doing right now. Going 100% renewable is certainly good for public relations, but mainly it’s just good for business. Take Georgetown, TX for example; a city located in the heart of Texas with a plan to go 100% renewable by 2017. In an interview with The Guardian, Jim Briggs, Georgetown city manager, explained the city’s rationale for making this commitment, “We didn’t do this to save the world-we did this to get a competitive rate and to reduce the risk for our consumers.” The great thing about renewable power, whether it is wind, solar, or hydroelectric, is that it is available, sustainable, andincreasingly cost-effective. Large corporations are participating in voluntary programs such as EPA’s Green Power Partnershipbecause they see large-scale investments in renewable sources of energy as an effective way to reduce their energy costs. Despite these laudable efforts, the private sector alone cannot reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions; it’s going to take a sustained effort from cities and communities around the world to make a real difference. Cities like Georgetown, TX are going 100% renewable to save money for their consumers; what will be your city’s reason? Let’s start the conversation.   David Thomsen, Fellow