Congratulations to Roberta Gastmeyer and the rest of the hard workers who made this happen. Also to the City of Gainesville for having the foresight and intelligence to take this step.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Gainesville Becomes Fifth City in Florida to Commit to 100 Percent Clean, Renewable Electricity
GAINESVILLE, FL — On Thursday, October 18, the City Commission of Gainesville unanimously passed a resolution committing the city to be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity and net zero greenhouse gas emissions community-wide by 2045. The resolution can be found here.
“By passing this resolution, the City is declaring its intention to move away from a dirty fossil fuel economy to one based on clean energy innovation. We are excited by the opportunity to work with Gainesville’s excellent Utility Advisory Board to ensure all residents will benefit from this transition, which will provide a healthier, more equitable, and more resilient community,” said Roberta Gastmeyer, member of the Suwannee-St. Johns Group of the Sierra Club Executive Committee and Chair of the Gainesville Ready for 100 Action Coalition.
“This is the most important decision that you will make during your tenure as City Commissioners. All current city residents and those to come thank you,” said Julia Reiskind, of the Alachua County League of Women Voters.
The resolution states that “the City Commission also recognizes that emission reductions accomplished sooner are more important and valuable for our city’s climate protection efforts.” Gainesville’s commitment to 100 percent renewable energy comes one week after Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle, leaving more than 1 million households without electricity. The International Panel on Climate Change recently released a report pointing to the relationship between stronger storms and climate disruption, signaled by warmer ocean temperatures and sea level rise.
“Thanks for your leadership that’s absolutely necessary in doing right by the Planet,” said Nkwanda Jah, Chair of the Alachua County branch of the NAACP Environmental & Climate Justice Committee.
“Thank you to the City Commissioners for listening to our concerns and encourage Gainesville residents to be involved in the planning process as we determine our energy future,” Bob Tancig, Gainesville resident and member of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Gainesville is the 90th city across the United States to commit to transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable energy.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.