By Don Corrigan
The St. Louis region has had its environmental woes from dioxin to lead to radioactive waste contamination. The city did recently get some good news with its inclusion in the Top 100 Major Cities for clean energy initiatives. The listing was released this month by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
“St. Louis made impressive strides this past year by adopting a policy requiring many major buildings to improve their energy efficiency,” said ACEEE Local Policy Director David Ribeiro. “Only two other cities have passed bills like it, so St. Louis is in elite company.”
Among key findings in the ACEEE report are the top 15 cities, the two fastest-rising cities, and five laggards at the bottom of the ranking for clean energy efforts. The report analyzes the efforts of 100 major U.S. cities — home to 19 percent of the nation’s population — to make buildings and transportation more energy efficient and scale up the use of renewable energy such as solar and wind power.
“St. Louis took other innovative steps too to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, like ensuring that new large buildings are built in a manner where solar panels can easily be added,” said Ribeiro. “The city has been bold, and will need to continue taking bold policy action to achieve a clean energy future.”
The ACEEE energy scorecard provides the most comprehensive national measuring stick for metropolitan climate progress and serves as a roadmap for future improvements. The report, which has expanded its focus from 75 cities last year, also evaluates what cities are doing to help low-income communities and communities of color access and afford clean energy.
These efforts are more important now than ever. During the COVID-19 recession, many people are spending more time at home. They are seeing their utility bills rise and their pocketbooks shrink. Clean energy can create good, local jobs, cut energy bills, reduce harmful pollution, build resilience in the wake of extreme weather, and lessen the impacts of climate change. The scorecard shows what cities are doing, and can do better, to reap the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. ACEEE aims to build a vibrant and equitable economy – one that uses energy more productively, reduces costs, protects the environment, and promotes the health, safety, and well-being of everyone. http://www.aceee.org
For more information on urban green energy efforts and progress, contact Max Karlin at ACEEE, (703) 276-3255; or, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Whitney Dunlap at ACEEE, (703) 229-1489 or email@example.com.