100% committed to a 100% renewable future

By Ross Sherman
Digital Campaigner, Clean Energy

With every passing day, we find it more urgent and necessary than ever to transform our energy systems away from fossil fuels to clean, renewable sources. Burning oil, gas, and coal is not only polluting our air, water and land -- it’s changing our climate more rapidly than scientists predicted. In the United States, we already see the many devastating impacts of climate-related disasters - from the first American climate refugees in Louisiana to more frequent and severe wildfires in the West. This will only continue and worsen unless we take swift and decisive action. 

Map of “100% Committed. 100% Renewable” events held around the country.

We can have healthier communities right now and a livable future for our kids growing up today. That’s why we at Environment America are 100 percent committed to a 100 percent clean energy future, building the public support we necessary to get our leaders and institutions to make the shift.  

Over 200 people attended our Boston event to hear our panel speak about 100% renewable energy. Our panel consisted of Dr. Jonathan Buonocore (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), Robert Dostis (Green Mountain Power), Dr. Joan Fitzgerald (Northeastern University), and Dr. Sanjeev Mukerjee (Northeastern University Center for Renewable Energy Technology).

Getting to 100 percent renewable energy is not only necessary and possible, it is happening. Cities and towns across the country -- from Aspen, Colorado to Burlington, Vermont to Georgetown Texas -- have already committed to go 100 percent. That list also includes San Diego, California, the 8th largest US city, and the whole state of Hawaii.

Environment Colorado hosted a Renewable Energy Summit at the capitol building in Denver. Guest-speakers were Mario Molina (International Director, Climate Reality), Chris Gorrie (President, Ecotech Institute), and Dawn Mullally (Director of Transportation of Clean Air, American Lung Association).

The business community is also at the forefront of this movement. Companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Johnson and Johnson, and Coca Cola, have already committed to 100 percent renewable energy. We will continue cheering on large corporations to make the transition to a clean energy future.

We are also optimistic that we can continue and accelerate this progress, due to the overwhelming popularity of renewable energy. In Gallup polling from 2015, 79 percent of Americans believe we need to put “more emphasis” on solar and 70 percent believe the same about wind. With this type of public support, it’s not hard to imagine the continuation of extraordinary progress.

Bronte Payne (Environment America) leads a panel at Cornell University. From left to right: Bob Howarth (Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology), Sarah Zemanick (Director, Cornell Sustainability Office), Chuck Greene (Professor, Earth & Atmospheric Science), Elizabeth Chi (Campaign Coordinator, Climate Justice Cornell), and Colleen Boland (Co-Founder, We Are Seneca Lake).

Given all of the positives, there are significant reasons progress is not happening at the clip we might expect. At all levels of government, politicians are dragging their feet -- largely due to the immense influence of big fossil fuel interests like the Koch brothers pushing their climate-denying agenda. Because solar and wind energy are booming, they are pulling out all the stops to roll back any and all pro-solar and pro-wind policies. We will continue fighting back against these attacks, as well as strengthen forward-thinking renewable energy policy.

More than 85 people attended our “100% Committed. 100% Renewable” event in St. Louis, MO.

That’s why it is so important to get involved in this fight. We all want clean air, water, and land. We all want a better future not only for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren. We are all witnessing and experiencing rising sea levels, unseasonably warm winters, and worsening droughts. And it’s time to act. Our campaign, “100% Committed. 100% Renewable” is just the beginning of this process. 

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Sign the petition calling for a nationwide commitment to 100% renewable energy.

  2. Share Facebook post and tweet on your social media networks.

  3. Call your Senators and Representatives and urge them to support 100% renewable legislation.