On Friday, April 27th, the Minneapolis City Council approved a resolution to transition to 100 percent clean renewable electricity citywide by 2030, on a unanimous vote. The resolution also sets a much more immediate goal of 100 percent renewable electricity for municipal facilities and operations by 2022.
Minneapolis now joins 64 other cities in the nation who have passed similar 100% renewable resolutions such as Atlanta; Boulder, Orlando, Madison, Portland, Ore; St. Louis, San Francisco; San Diego; Salt Lake City. Minnesota is the largest city in the Midwest to pass the resolution and the third City in Minnesota after Saint Louis Park and Rochester.
In addition to the resolution, Mayor Frey also joined the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy initiative, which already includes nearly 200 mayors nationwide.
These cities are making a statement of opposition to the dismantling of climate policy at the federal level and voicing a commitment to carry out the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement on a municipal level.
Councilmember Jeremy Schroeder, co-author of the resolution stated “It’s really important to have this resolution come now...at a time when federal and state policymakers are undermining our sustainability and resilience as a city, it’s more important that we act locally to protect our future.”
As a matter of process, the resolution was vetted by the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership and its Energy Vision Advisory Committee. Xcel Energy did not state any opposition to the resolution in the Partnership spaces.
Credit for the creation and advocacy behind the 100% resolution can be given to the Sierra Club’s Ready For 100 campaign and the national youth climate organization, iMatter. Community Power did not play a direct role behind this particular resolution. However, Community Power did lay the groundwork for last Friday’s historic win by getting a similar 100% clean renewable energy resolution passed at the Minneapolis DFL convention last year.
The resolution also calls upon the Minneapolis City Coordinator’s Office to issue a blueprint by the first quarter of 2019 on how the city will meet the ambitious goal. This blueprint is intended to involve more than the usual policy and technological considerations. The blueprint is also supposed to include strategies “to ensure that all consumers, especially those who have been left out of the benefits of energy programs in the past, communities of color, low-income communities, renters, and communities that have borne the brunt of past environmental racism, receive equitable benefit from this transition.”
Council Member Steve Fletcher, co-author of the resolution stated, “In addition to being the right thing to do for the planet, investing in renewable energy allows us to keep more energy generation revenue in the city and create jobs for Minneapolis people of color who have been historically excluded from the old energy economy.”
The main driving vision behind our Minneapolis Energy Options campaign of 5 years ago was maximizing locally owned, democratically controlled renewable energy. That same year in 2013 also saw the passage of the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan which included a goal of 10% of electricity from local renewables by 2025.
5 years later, we have only seen limited progress toward meeting local renewable goals as far as hard numbers and City Councilmembers acknowledged that in last Friday’s press conference. However, this new 100% resolution, together with the new Clean Energy Franchise Fee, can create a magnetic pull onto the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership that will move the city beyond its current incremental progress toward meeting its climate and energy goals.