The St. Louis Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the city’s commitment to transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2035. St. Louis now represents the largest city in Missouri and across the Midwest to establish a goal of transitioning entirely to clean, renewable energy. St. Louis joins 46 other communities in the United States to commit to 100% clean energy.
As part of the city’s commitment, a stakeholder process will begin exploring the next steps in reaching the 100% clean energy goal, which includes introducing future legislation. The commitment establishes that “that the City develops a plan by December 2018 to meet the clean energy goal through a transparent and inclusive stakeholder process which includes community members as well as representatives from organizations representing labor, faith, social justice, environmental justice, frontline communities and those most impacted by our current energy systems, public health and the environment, economic development, utility sector, clean energy sector, universities and academic institutions, business, housing, employment services, low income advocates, government, and any other relevant groups."
“St. Louis' commitment to 100% clean energy sends a powerful signal: even in communities with long ties to coal, the benefits of clean energy are too great to ignore. Wind and solar can create jobs, lower electric bills, and give the people of St. Louis a better alternative to the highly polluting coal power which currently makes up the bulk of Ameren’s generation,” said Sara Edgar, Sierra Club Organizing Manager in Missouri.
St. Louis is home to two of the largest coal companies in the United States, Peabody and Arch Coal, as well the regional utility Ameren Missouri, which relies heavily on coal burning power generation.
Rev. Rodrick Burton a pastor at New Northside Missionary Baptist Church said, “We have some of the worst polluted air in the country. This commitment is a victory not only for our environment but for the health of our communities. As this process continues, I hope neighbors, leaders, and our utility can come together to chart a path to clean energy that benefits everyone.”
“Clean energy is a growing industry that is creating new jobs and investing in communities that need it most. With this commitment, even more people will have access to the benefits of clean energy across St. Louis,” said Erin Noble, Board Member for the Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association and Director of Business Operations at StraightUp Solar.
More than 100 major businesses and corporations have committed to 100% clean energy, including many that have a presence in St. Louis such as Anheuser Busch InBev. Rock Port, Missouri is one of the first cities or towns in the United States to be powered entirely with renewable energy.