On Wednesday, the Chicago City Council unanimously voted to establish the goal of transitioning the entire city to 100% clean, renewable energy, like wind and solar, by 2035. Chicago becomes the largest city in the country to make this commitment, following cities like St. Louis, Madison, Atlanta and San Francisco.
The city’s resolution was championed by the Ready For 100 Chicago Collective, a coalition consisting of several community- and state-based organizations, including Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, Chicago Youth Alliance for Climate Action, People for Community Recovery, Respiratory Health Association, The Climate Reality Project Chicago Chapter, SEIU Local 1, Citizens Utility Board and other environmental, education, youth, labor and justice groups across Chicago.
The recently introduced Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act aims to move the entire state to 100% clean energy by 2050. By adopting its goal today, Chicago provides a state and national model for other communities looking to transition away from fossil fuels.
The resolution also calls for complete electrification of CTA’s bus fleet by 2040. It directs the Mayor’s Office Sustainability Team, in partnership with the Ready for 100 Chicago Collective and other community groups and stakeholders, to develop a community-wide transition plan by December 2020 for achieving 100% renewable electricity.
Chicago joins 118 other cities across the U.S. already committed to an equitable transition to 100% clean, renewable energy community-wide, including Evanston in Illinois.
In response, Kyra Woods, Chicago organizer with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Action Campaign, issued the following:
“Setting the goal to power our city with 100% clean, renewable energy is a monumental achievement. It is through bold, local action that we can enable meaningful participation and cultivate strong benefits for our local communities throughout this process. That is why this resolution is grounded in community partnership and reflects shared values and priorities that are intended to support an equitable transition for the city. Joining 118 other cities, Chicago stands in support of developing an energy system that seeks to fortify our city’s infrastructure, reduce disproportionate exposure to pollution and environmental toxins and enable access to clean power for all residents. Setting a goal is just the beginning; Sierra Club looks forward to our continued collaboration with community groups, the City of Chicago, businesses and other stakeholders as we advance a just, clean energy transition for all of Chicago.”