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A view of the Chicago River.

A view of the Chicago River. (Photo: hectorlo/flickr/cc)

'Monumental': Chicago Commits to 100% Renewable Energy by 2040

The city council's vote makes Chicago the biggest city to pass such an ordinance

Andrea Germanos

Chicago made history on Wednesday by becoming the largest U.S. city to commit to 100 percent renewable energy before the middle of the century.

It is, in the summation of Kyra Woods, Chicago organizer with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Action Campaign, "a monumental achievement."

According to the Sierra Club, the city council unanimously passed a resolution that commits the city to 100 percent renewable energy in buildings by 2035 and electrification of the city's bus fleet by 2040.

The nonbinding resolution, backed by the Ready For 100 Chicago Collective, points to the kind of extreme weather including catastrophic flooding the region is already experiencing. "Climate change," it reads, "will bring unprecedented environmental changes including extreme heat, heavy precipitation, and flooding to our region."

"Residents of communities experiencing disproportionate cumulative impacts of environmental exposures and population vulnerability, as well as other communities across Chicago, desire a just transition away from all fossil fuels that prioritizes environmental justice, public health, community self-determination, high-quality jobs, and ownership opportunities for local residents," the resolution also states.

As Woods noted, the move adds the Midwest metropolis to a list of over 100 other cities including Atlanta, Ga., Berkeley, Calif., and Gainesville, Fla. that have adopted clean energy goals.

"The Chicago Collective who wrote this resolution—comprised of frontline environmental justice communities, green groups, and unions—proves that not only can Chicago build a climate-safe future for next generations, but that a truly just transition also creates good, family-sustaining jobs to lift up communities," said Kassie Beyer, campaign director of Jobs to Move America Illinois.

"We look forward to working with the mayor's office in making our vision for a just transition a reality," she added.


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Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·


Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·


Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens 'Future of Voting Rights'

"Buckle up," implores one prominent legal scholar. "An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Urged to Take Emergency Action After 'Disastrous' Climate Ruling by Supreme Court

"The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, but "we cannot accept defeat."

Kenny Stancil ·

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