A world full of numerous cities powered 100% by renewable energy may sound like something of a pipe dream (for now, anyways) but that isn’t stopping the noted campaigning organization Avaaz from aiming for just such a goal.
Avaaz recently sent a petition to the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, featuring the signatures of ~2.2 million people. It requested that local, national, and international leaders make the transition to 100% renewable energy. Avaaz is currently aiming to get at least 100 cities around the world to join its campaign over the next year.
“Last year people took to the streets to demand a shift to clean energy, and this year these same people will be making that goal a reality, one town at a time,” noted Bert Wander, a senior campaigner at Avaaz. “Cities all over the world have already started announcing 100% clean-energy targets, and where cities lead, entire countries can follow.”
Worth noting is that, reportedly, this initiative is being run by members at the local level — which is apparently in contrast to many other high-profile Avaaz campaigns.
According to Wander: “A renewables revolution is happening right now, and in just a few months it’s gone from pipe dream to mainstream, with countries including Norway and Uruguay flicking the ‘clean’ switch, and cities such as Frankfurt, Seattle and Copenhagen doing the same. We hope that cities and towns across Britain will follow their lead this year.”
Certainly not a bad goal. As it stands, the UK has seen more than 150,000 people who have signed up for the campaign.
Commenting on the necessity for such a city-based approach, one of the petition organizers, Jon Crooks, noted: “Governments aren’t committing to this (the 40-70% carbon-emissions reduction by 2050 target set by the IPCC). But if we can get cities to commit, then governments will have to respond. This is the right fit for Manchester right now. The city is to get an elected mayor and things that can be done to make a city 100% clean, like sustainable transport and housing, could become real electoral issues.”
And it most certainly is something that needs to be addressed in one way or another — the effects of climate change on the world and its social/political systems are predicted to be quite nasty over the coming decades. The sooner that the issue is addressed, the more that these effects can be potentially be lessened.
Image Credit: UK wind turbines and solar panels in Cornwall via Shutterstock