Santa Barbara, California became the 30th city in the country to commit to transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy. The Santa Barbara City Council approved a measure Tuesday that establishes a community-wide goal of transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
The resolution also commits the city to transition all municipal buildings and operations to 50 percent clean energy by 2020. Santa Barbara represents the first city on California’s Central Coast to make this commitment.
“President Trump may be withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, but cities are stepping up and re-committing to adopt, honor and uphold the Paris climate goals,” Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider said. “I’m proud that Santa Barbara just adopted a 100.”
In April, Mayor Schneider became one of the first mayors in the U.S. to join the new Mayors for 100 Clean Energy initiative and endorse a vision of powering her community with 100 percent renewable energy. The passage of the measure reinforces how mayoral leadership in cities across the U.S. is accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy. Mayor Schneider is joined in Mayors for 100% Clean Energy by Central Coast mayors Fred Shaw of Carpinteria, John F. Johnston of Ojai and Heidi Harmon of San Luis Obispo.
“We salute Santa Barbara for their leadership on 100 percent clean energy,” Katie Davis, chair of the Sierra Club’s Santa Barbara group, said. “To meet our international climate goals, we must transition away from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. Moving to 100 percent renewable energy isn’t just the right thing to do for our climate, it’s the smart thing to do for our local economy. Renewable energy costs have decreased dramatically and are now cost competitive with fossil fuels, and Santa Barbara County already has eight times more jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency than in the oil industry. The transition to 100 percent clean energy is represents a better and more prosperous path forward for our community.”
Coming on the heels of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, Santa Barbara’s commitment to 100 percent clean, renewable energy showcases how cities can lead the transition away from fossil fuels. On Thursday, just hours after Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. from the Paris agreement, the Portland, Oregon and Multnomah County councils committed to transition all of Portland and Multnomah County to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2050.
“Today marked a significant victory—one that was over a decade in the making,” Sigrid Wright, executive director of Community Environmental Council, said. “I take incredible inspiration from the thousands of individuals and business leaders who stepped up to support—to demand—a rapid shift to cleaner, healthier renewable energy. We’re proud of our City Council for emphasizing California’s commitment and leadership.”
Other California cities to commit to 100 percent renewable energy include San Diego, San Francisco, South Lake Tahoe, Del Mar, and Palo Alto.