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Chicago had already committed in 2017 to power its 900-plus public buildings (public schools, colleges, and the park district) entirely on clean energy by 2025.
The resolution was the result of a collaboration by numerous local citizens groups, including the Climate Reality Project Chicago Chapter, the Illinois Sierra Club, IBEW Local 134, People for Community Recovery, SEIU Local 1, Citizens Utility Board, and other environmental, education, youth, and labor groups. The state of Illinois also has a very ambitious climate change agenda as required by the Illinois Clean Energy Job Act, which aims to move the entire state to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. According to the Sierra Club, in 2018, Illinois had the second-highest solar job growth of any US state—it now ranks 13th as far as total solar jobs nationally.
Why This Matters: Chicago’s air is not exactly crystal clean and clear. It ranked as the 22nd most polluted city in the US in 2018, and the American Lung Association gave the city an F grade in its annual State of the Air report. Asthma rates there are very high — of the city’s 2.7 million residents, more than 683,000 adults and 170,000 children in the Chicago area suffer from asthma. The worst of the pollution there is concentrated in African American and Latino neighborhoods in the city’s south, southwest, west and northwest sides, raising environmental justice issues. It was an impressive joint effort by local labor, education and environmental organizations. This is the kind of collective effort we will need to make similar policies a reality at the national level. The Windy City’s nickname just became even more fitting.
To Go Deeper: You can read the Chicago City Council Resolution by clicking this R2019-157.pdf link.
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Cities across the US are transitioning their buildings to clean energy, which would mean banning natural gas in new construction and promoting electric appliances. But the question remains whether or not infrastructure — foundational and historic — is ready to handle such a demand for electricity. Why this […]
As more people around the nation are taking to the roads and skies for their vaccinated vacations, one car rental company is making it easier for folks to not only travel in style, but travel green. Hertz has announced that it will be purchasing 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles by the end of 2022 alongside an […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Last year, the average American household experienced eight hours without power, as storms hammered electrical systems built with less erratic climate conditions in mind. That average outage time is double what it was five years ago. But only looking at the average obscures the experience of people who lived […]
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