City Commission moves toward supporting 100 percent renewable energy pledge

 

For Immediate Release:  June 9, 2017
Contact: Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager  941-954-2613
jan.thornburg@sarasotafl.gov

Sarasota, FL: The City Commission this week unanimously authorized proceeding to join the Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100” campaign to transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources.

With community input, staff will draft a resolution calling for City of Sarasota municipal operations to be powered by renewable energy sources by 2030. A community-wide target to convert to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 also will be included. The City Commission is scheduled to give final approval to the resolution during its next regular meeting on June 19.

“The City Commission is sending a strong message that Sarasota is serious about seeking alternative energy sources to do our part to combat climate change and sea level rise,” said City Manager Tom Barwin. “With this voluntary agreement, Sarasota will strengthen its role as an energy innovator and environmental leader, becoming a cleaner city with fewer carbon emissions, which experts say could slow the impact of sea level rise. This is critical to Sarasota, where sea level rise threatens our infrastructure.”

Environmental preservation and sustainability are top priorities in the City Commission’s 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, including establishing a climate adaptation plan and supporting renewable energy generation within City operations.

“Signing on to “Ready for 100” will solidify Sarasota’s commitment to sustainability and to implementing concrete, local solutions that decrease our carbon emissions, said Stevie Freeman-Montes, Sustainability Manager. “It will provide structure for the City to look seriously at how we can transition our community to 100 percent clean energy. We look forward to working with community members to identify strategies to reach this ambitious goal.”

The Sarasota Climate Justice Coalition approached the City about supporting the “Ready for 100” campaign. The City of Sarasota would become the third municipality in the Florida to join. St. Petersburg became the first last fall. Currently, 29 cities throughout the nation have formally supported the “Ready for 100” pledge.

Nearly 100 people attended the City Commission meeting at which petitions signed by 2,000 supporters of the movement were presented to support the unanimous action.

“The organizations, businesses, and nearly 2,000 people who signed “Ready for 100” are eager for Sarasota to become the next city in the United States to commit to 100 percent clean energy,” said Trevor Falk, representative for Sarasota Climate Justice Coalition. “The unanimous decision to move the resolution forward for discussion and a vote on June 19 illustrates the Commission’s understanding of the issues presented, and the Commission’s focus to growing the local economy while reducing carbon dioxide emissions and investing in clean energy for current and future generations.”

The resolution will be on the 2:30 p.m. portion of the  City Commission agenda Monday, June 19.

For more information contact Stevie Freeman-Montes, Sustainability Manager: 941-365-2200 ext. 4202

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 About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by Google as a Digital Capital in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 53,000 year-round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at http://sarasotagov.org/#2