Orlando makes ambitious low-carbon pledge

City already got an early start by committing to some of the provisions outlined in the international Paris climate treaty.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Aug. 9, 2017 at 7:01 AM
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Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The city of Orlando said it was the next in line to take a ground-up approach to addressing the impact of climate change by setting ambitious low-carbon goals.

The city commission approved a measure that sets the goal of relying entirely on renewable energy by 2050. Orlando becomes the largest city in Florida to adopt a clean-energy stance and the resolution follows the lead of several U.S. cities and states that adopted a stance that lines up with the general themes of the international Paris climate accord.

"All across our state and our nation, cities are committing to a future powered by 100 percent clean and renewable energy for all," Phil Compton, an organizer with the Sierra Club, said in a statement. "Orlando joins this growing movement of cities that are ready for 100 percent clean, renewable energy."

In June, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed bills that made his state the first one in the country to enact legislation that implements parts of the Paris climate deal.

The U.S. State Department told the United Nations it was ready to start the process of withdrawing from the Paris climate treaty. Before the announcement, twelve state governors, including those rich in shale natural resources, signed a letter to President Donald Trump requesting continued alignment with the global climate agreement. In the letter, they remind the president that, because it's a multilateral accord, other developing economies like China and India will capitalize on the economic benefits of renewable technology if the United States leaves.

"Renewable energy represents an enormous economic opportunity for the city of Orlando to create jobs in an emerging industry, increase economic security and expand prosperity for local residents, reduce air pollution and associated public health risks, reduce the strain on limited water resources, and save the city and consumers money," the measure read.

The city already committed to cutting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris climate treaty.

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