Randall Woodfin pledges to transition Birmingham to 100% sustainable energy

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It was just announced that in March of this year, Mayor Randall Woodfin signed a pledge to shift to 100 percent sustainable energy during his tenure as mayor.

The pledge, “Mayors for 100% Sustainable Energy Pledge,” which is being pushed by Gasp — the Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution — is part of the organization’s Alabama Cities for Sustainable Energy campaign. The pledge also includes a draft resolution for town councils to use to craft their own pro-renewable energy policies.

Birmingham City Council has yet to adopt such a resolution.

The pledge asks mayors to affirm the following:

  • I believe sustainable energy is good for the City of [fill in the blank]and the State of Alabama because it will create economic development opportunities and job.
  • I believe sustainable energy will help the City of [fill in the blank]and the State of Alabama become a more just and equitable place to live, work, and learn.
  • I believe the overwhelming scientific consensus of anthropogenic climate change and that it is an urgent global challenge.
  • I believe that local, community-focused solutions are essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • I believe that it is important for the City of [fill in the blank]to transition away from dirty fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency, solar, wind, and pollution-free electric public transportation.
renewable pledge cities

American cities that have committed to transition to 100% renewable energy. [Photo Credit: Sierra Club]

Birmingham isn’t the only American city endeavoring to go green. Over 200 mayors have signed a similar pledge pushed by the Sierra Club.

While very few have actually followed through on the promise to go 100% green, others have tried and failed.

Not included in budget

Woodfin signed the pledge on March 14 — the day before the new mayor commemorated his first 100 days in office by presenting The Woodfin Way, his 2018 mayoral transition report. That report included a commitment to invest in renewable energy, as well as with several other recommendations for environmental justice and sustainability projects.

Environmental Justice and Sustainability– North Birmingham is ranked number five on the National Priorities List distributed by the EPA. Due to decades of environmental pollution, many communities have suffered. The EPA has chosen North Birmingham as a Superfund site, but it’s up to the city to take ownership over these initiatives. The city must not only revitalize neighborhoods that have been harmed, but also take stock in the sustainability of our environmental future. The goal of the Environmental Justice and Sustainability subcommittee is ensuring the city’s investment in our future by proposing initiatives that address brownfields and pollution, maintenance of parks and green spaces, storm water mitigation and sustainability efforts like recycling, renewable energy, and residential weatherization that saves Birmingham citizens money on energy and creates jobs

Nevertheless when Woodfin presented his budget to the City Council in late April, there was no mention about funding for a transition to renewable energy.

Alabama Today has previously reported that Alabama Power Company continues to grow its renewables portfolio, with energy coming into the state from wind, solar and hydropower.

It is unclear how Woodfin intends to implement the promises of his pledge. Perhaps with the help of Alabama Power Company.

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