Clean and Green at the Grassroots

Despite a seeming current lack of interest in renewables and other green initiatives at the federal level, more companies, mayors, and states are picking up the slack and moving forward aggressively with such initiatives.

RE100, a collaborative effort between The Climate Group and CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), is focused on encouraging the world's largest companies to embrace 100 percent renewable energy by 2020.

"Companies joining RE100 recognize that renewable power is a smart business decision," said Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group. "Their leadership will help to shape energy markets away from fossil fuels and deliver on the Paris Agreement at speed."

RE100, launched in 2014, announced in September 2017 that it now has 110 worldwide corporations committed to the goal. Combined, these companies now account for 150 terawatt-hours of renewable energy per year, more than enough to power the whole state of New York.

In addition to corporations in the United States and overseas, states are ramping up their efforts toward green initiatives. According to a September 2017 S&P Global Market Intelligence report, a number of state legislatures are focusing on innovations in technology and market design as ways to drive additional deployments of solar, wind and energy storage. Through August 2017, these states had enacted a total of 59 major laws.

Taking things a step further, governors in three states (California, New York and Washington) came together in June 2017 to announce the U.S. Climate Alliance, in response to the federal government's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. According to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, the three states "formed the Alliance to convene U.S. states committed to achieving the U.S. goal of reducing emissions 26–28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan."

In September, the Alliance announced that it already had 10 new members: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Puerto Rico. In response to this growing interest, Gov. Inslee added, "With input from all participants, the U.S. Climate Alliance will also act as a forum to sustain and strengthen existing climate programs, promoting the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy."

And, in their own efforts to commit to cleaner cities, the mayors of over 200 U.S. cities have made formal commitments to move forward with clean and green initiatives.

About the Author

William Atkinson

Freelance Writer
William Atkinson has been a full-time business magazine writer since 1976. Contact him at .

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