Austin is not the only city making the push for solar energy. Earlier this month, a group of 70 US mayors signed a letter written by the nonprofit organization Environment America, pledging their support for solar energy and its advancement in local communities across the country.
“We, the undersigned U.S. Mayors and local officials, resolve to make solar energy a key element of our communities’ energy plans,” said the mayors in the letter. “…With a concerted effort underway on the state and federal levels to limit the growth of solar by fossil fuel special interests, communities like ours across the country need to act quickly to continue our progress toward renewable energy.”
The letter continues on to explain that cities are in a unique position to advance the adoption of solar energy, through municipally-owned utilities and the passage of policies and programs that incentivize rooftop solar power.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler signed onto this letter, along with Former Buda Mayor Todd Ruge.
This recent pledge fits into a growing trend that has been largely embraced by Adler – local officials taking the lead on US climate policy, especially in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the country from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Earlier this month Adler joined with 49 other mayors to sign the Chicago Climate Charter, pledging to reduce Austin’s emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Austin is also a signatory of the We Are Still In initiative, a coalition of more than 2,500 cities, states, companies, and colleges dedicated to tackling climate change and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement.
Austin is also a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which is “focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing, and economic opportunities of urban citizens.”
For a summary on how initiatives like these are actually doing in reducing their emissions, you can check out the “America’s Pledge” report, produced with support from Michael Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown.