How To Switch Your City To 100% Renewable Energy | One Small Step | NowThis


We’re talking and more. This is an exciting
trend when you consider that 70% of our carbon emissions
in the US come from cities. If more cities were to make the switch, we could have a real impact
on our climate goals. To find out I’m in St.
Petersburg, Florida, to talk to the mayor and learn
how a bunch of volunteers convinced their city to go 100% renewable. And I connect with activists in New York as they lobby their representatives to commit to a 100% renewable agenda. I’m Lucy Biggers and
this is One Small Step. (upbeat music) Renewable energy is an energy
made from natural processes that don’t run out, like wind or solar. In contrast, there are a
limited amount of fossil fuels like oil and coal that exist on earth. Fossil fuels also
produce greenhouse gasses like CO2 and methane, while renewable energy has an almost nonexistent
carbon footprint. There are great benefits
to switching your city to 100% renewable energy. It’s clean, so you’re
reducing air pollution and cutting CO2 emissions. Not to mention the
investment in infrastructure creates new jobs. In Florida itself they created nearly 2,000 new solar jobs in 2018. Right now, six US cities run
on 100% renewable energy. Places like Aspen, Colorado, Burlington, Vermont and Georgetown, Texas, have all made the transition
and hit their targets. What’s so cool is the list
includes red and blue cities, so this is not a partisan issue. Today, I’m in St. Petersburg, Florida, where in 2016 a group of activists successfully convinced their city leaders to commit to transition their
city to 100% renewable energy. James Scott was one of
the leading advocates of that movement. So, what would be your
advice to organizers or just regular old people
in other communities who maybe wanna see something
like this pass in their town. One of the first steps is to identify people who share your values, people in your community
who are likely allies. You kinda gotta build an alliance. Even having like a
roundtable at your house. Just inviting people in your community to begin that conversation and say, “Okay, where do we start, guys? “Who do we begin this conversation with?” Find your local Sierra Club group, connect with your local
leaders in the Sierra Club. I helped coauthor a
toolkit for organizing. Amazing. There’s an actual booklet
and it’ll tell you how to get started, how to
start writing editorials, identifying targets on your
city council and your community, and literally it’s all there. And then kinda walks you through
how to build that momentum and how to ultimately
get your city government behind your goal. If you’re in a community and you’re trying to get
this movement started, how much time commitment is this? How much money do you have to spend to really get something
like this off the ground? Theoretically, you can do this for free. You contact your mayor or you
contact your mayor’s office or your city council person,
those things are free. In 2016, the activists
accomplished their goal. Mayor Kriseman announced
that St. Petersburg would be the first city
in the state of Florida to commit to transitioning
to 100% renewable energy. What motivated you to
make renewable energy a priority of your city? In St. Pete we have 361 days of sunshine. And so when I became
mayor, our city was really, I don’t mean to use the pun
underwater but we kinda were. We hadn’t done anything to
start getting our city ready for what we are already
experiencing with sea level rise and climate change. And so from executive orders, to hiring a Director of Sustainability, to getting the entire community involved, and creating an Integrated
Sustainability Action Plan. That’s really kind of
what we’ve been doing since I became mayor, to start getting this city ready for what we’ve gotta deal with. I’ve had some people say,
“Well, you’re just one city.” We all have to say, what can
we do to make a difference? What can we do impact climate? How do we mitigate our impact and reduce our carbon footprint? You know, your community
will get behind you. This community is really
behind our efforts. And on top of the environmental benefits, have there been other benefits
that you hadn’t foreseen? Yeah, that’s the thing that
a lot of people are missing, that piece of it is what a
great way of creating jobs, of creating a whole new economy. Whether it’s the people who are doing the installation of solar panels or it’s those who are doing the research on the technologies for batteries. And do you have a timeline of
when you wanna get to 100%? Yes, our goal is to be at 100% by 2035. And then we’re also working on
our greenhouse gas emissions, we wanna reduce them by 80% by 2050. I don’t know if it’s a small
step or it’s a big leap but it’s just taking action. Not being afraid. Not saying, “I’m not
gonna make a difference.” Mayor Kriseman, thank you
so much for having me. I’m so inspired by being in St. Petersburg and seeing all that you’re doing and I hope that you’re gonna be an example to the rest of the country because we need even
more action like this. It’s so important. This is the future of our planet. For those of us who have kids,
what are we leaving them? Since committing to renewable energy, the city has made it easier for residents to get loans for solar panels and energy efficiency projects, as well as paid for
rooftop solar installations on government properties, new electric car charging stations, and solar-powered bike-share
stations throughout the city. The next benchmark on their path to 100% is a citywide 20% reduction
in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. It’s great to see that
cities like St. Petersburg are committed to renewables, but what about the state level? Today I’m in Albany, New York, where organizers are
lobbying state legislatures to make the transition. Daniela, thank you so much
for being here with me today and telling me about your work. Yeah, so, the Climate and
Community Protection Act would be the most ambitious, most progressive legislation
on climate in the country. It truly combines the values
of climate, jobs, and justice. So, the CCPA would it would make sure that and it would make sure that we’re We would be the first state to
set a legally-binding mandate to get the whole of New York’s
economy off fossil fuels. It’s not just electricity, it’s about transportation, it’s about how we heat
and cool our buildings. Because electricity, going 100% renewable is a really great step but for New York it only
represents 20% of emissions. So the CCPA would take
New York economy-wide off of fossil fuels. And why do this at the state
level versus a local level? Energy systems are really complicated and usually operate on a statewide basis. So we need a big framework
on the state level to say we’re all working
toward the same goal of a climate justice
platform for New York State. In June 2019, a version of the CCPA passed the New York State Senate. The Climate Leadership and
Community Protection Act mandates by the year 2050 a statewide greenhouse
gas reduction of 85% and a carbon-neutral economy. The bill is the strongest state
level emissions regulation in the country and will begin to go into effect
before the end of the year. It is so amazing to see that cities running on 100% renewable
energy aren’t an abstraction. And I hope from watching this video you understand this is totally
possible in your community. Find like-minded people and contact your city
council or your mayor. Just start there. Because we need more cities transitioning to 100% renewable energy if we’re gonna fight climate change.

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81 thoughts on “How To Switch Your City To 100% Renewable Energy | One Small Step | NowThis”

  1. zack zman says:

    I only watch this for her

  2. ßoog says:

    Hopefully this gets the rest of the world rolling!

  3. wesley rodgers says:

    We need to dump coal.

  4. Emer Kelly says:

    <3 St. Pete!

  5. Marcia Biggs says:

    Excellent! James Scott, Sierra Club, Mayor Kriseman, thanks for all you do!

  6. Marciano Demidof says:

    More of this please.

  7. colaboytje says:

    You use 'renewable' wrong. A waterfall creating energy is not renewable. Renewable energy means that when you use a certain amount of energy, you are able to re-use that energy that you already created. You are talking about carbondioxide emission.

  8. ian kelley says:

    This is great I live in Chicago if we can do this here we can do I anywhere

  9. Angela DeMonbreun says:

    The 2016 St. Pete solar co-op was the first of now 4 programs! They are incredibly supportive of rooftop solar and an example of how cities and local partners/volunteers can come together to make an impact.

  10. VoidCosmo says:

    I am so confused by this channel's sub count. Great video regardless.

  11. SierraClubFlorida says:

    Big Thanks for featuring Sierra Club Florida and the City of St Petersburg's journey to clean energy!

  12. pax und peace says:

    Great to have a additional channel for future.

  13. pax und peace says:


  14. Action Man says:

    Nuclear!!!!!! You forget to mention nuclear!!!!!!!
    I disliked this video because of it.

  15. Jeff Lombardi says:

    Now we need China and India to step up because USA only accounts for 9% of carbon emissions.

  16. YTWO says:

    Nice video! We need to be considerate regarding the environmental impacts on our future generations.

  17. tommy aronson says:

    And why do I want to fight climate change? So rich people can protect their lands? You fk up now pay for it

  18. Ayush Agrawal says:

    You have the best videos on YouTube. Maybe exaggeration but true to an extent. Thank you for the content!

  19. Cthulhu Has Risen says:

    I bet everyone still drives their gas engine cars.

  20. Phuc Baldr says:

    Why does no one talks about nuclear?

  21. Steve says:

    Integrate water delivery systems with micro hydro turbines and stop importing those worthless old tech solar panels from China.

  22. Chase Rekowcski says:

    Ignoring nuclear is ignorant.
    Hydroelectric is devastating to ecosystems
    Solar panels are toxic to produce.

  23. kirk stinson says:

    They cant run 100% renewable. It does not work that way and if you actually check those 6 cities you'll find the city dies not run 100% on renewable.

  24. Peter Parker says:

    Are those giant batteries renewable?

  25. the dude says:

    Its really easy if you use nuclear. Also a city is not 100% renewable because there is always a carbon standby generator

  26. A B says:

    0 emissions. Only problem is wind and solar energy kill way more wild birds and are responsible for the endangerment of many species of animals. The impact they have on our ecosystem is yet to be learned. Only thing we need to do with the energy we produce now is how to stop carbon emission. We need to real with how coal makes carbon before we consider all this other stuff green friendly.

  27. Ju Drew says:

    hydropower, can it have multi-purposes
    like we need to start saving water or desalinization of ocean water

    unless the reservoirs aren’t filled with drinkable water

  28. OffGrid Wanabe says:

    In a City that people still burn their own trash I guess it may help to go solar, but there is a lot more to it. The utility companies have real power in Florida and they aren't taking it laying down Good luck.

  29. Thomas Foreman says:

    Clean renewable energy independence. All new building should have a negative carbon footprint.

    New jobs now.

  30. 2nd3rd1st says:

    1:40 be smart, build solar panels in the shadow of a skyscraper

  31. Rylan Soto says:

    Tree huggers

  32. Tomasz Stanek says:

    What is the mix of sources? Any atom? Battery storage? How it’s work at night and cloudy no wind days?

  33. Amuzic says:

    2050 is just too late of a target

  34. MAKER HAPPY says:

    I love his fake promises because I don't know if he knows this but I know that st. Petersburg Florida will be underwater by 2030

  35. Sharad Vishwas says:

    Well done big step towards climate change on pollution and how you tackle this in a new way using Renuable energy in day to day life to make it easy. I would like to visite your city!!

  36. Oscar Nellist says:

    Great job

  37. Oscar Nellist says:

    I have a question, is there exceptions for cars or does everyone have a electric car

  38. Hawy othman says:

    The host is really beautiful 🙄

  39. Meghan says:

    much respect

  40. G Sterling says:

    The left's mania about renewable energy has nothing to do with saving the planet from an imminent global warming Apocalypse. No, it has everything to do with government control major sectors of the ecoonomy, in particular energy production, energy intensive manufacturing and ultimately of the entire economy. One need only look at the Green New Deal to understand this is a pure government control power play.

  41. Tawfeeq Mohammed says:

    Well done and encouraging

  42. Christine Clarke says:

    Will the toolkit work in the UK? Or is there a toolkit for the UK?

  43. Thomas Ellis says:

    I love lucy. No longer just an old TV sitcom!

  44. What a Buffoon says:

    80% emissions reduction by 2050 is still below IPCC targets, so even these targets need to be first steps.

  45. Vedraj r.m says:

    It's clean,
    But kills birds and destroys the environment

  46. koen v says:

    I honestly love your channel, it's really professional!

  47. JaMar Thomas says:

    This is dope.

  48. Mitsumi Kyoya says:

    I thought Trump promising us a "beautiful clean coal". 😂

  49. sanjuansteve says:

    Every residential, business and covered parking rooftop should be covered in enough solar panels to make them 100% solar powered, including charging our electric vehicles.

  50. sanjuansteve says:

    American Republicans put fear and greed (fear) before people and our one shared planet every single time. They've lost their minds to fear.

  51. G Sterling says:

    There are so many intractable engineering and environmental problems with our current wind and solar generation technologies that I believe the environmental ideologues will have no choice but to embrace generation III+ and IV nuclear generation technologies to achieve their aims. I wish they would get on with it.

  52. Jamie C. YW says:

    Smart street lighting should be the first step

  53. Boss Prince says:

    We should just have 100% nuclear energy

  54. Rakesh S says:

    Meanwhile undeveloped countries struggling to produce electricity due to lack of infrastructure.

  55. Nicholas L says:

    Check your utility site to switch to green energy today!

  56. Shut Up, Bishh says:

    Earthquake: exist
    Water Turbin: *REEEEEEEE

  57. Stefan says:

    Great! I think you could go even faster 100% green. 🙂

  58. Stefan says:

    Great job Lucy! 🙂

  59. CSERA Studio says:

    Why is the process so slooow!! Surely all cities should be doing this already? It's a step in the right direction however much more can be achieved in a short space of time.

  60. Erick Towet says:

    Wat about cars

  61. Bibaswann Bandyopadhyay says:

    Today I came to know that there is a St. Petersburg in USA

  62. Martijn Keulen says:

    And how about nuclear power..? Greenest energy in the world

  63. Random Slav says:

    We (people) are the power, we can make future possible for future generations

  64. Random Slav says:

    We can have UNLIMITED energy bc of the wind and sun

  65. Sean Olivas says:

    Solar's PV pricing is dropping like a rock. Its literally dropped 10x in 10 years. If you wait another 10 years it will likely do it again, except this time cities will be able to have batteries. Because right now its too expensive to store. TBH the reason why cities are taking this on is because the free market made the technology drop and they are actually saving money by year 2.5 years instead of an ROI 15 years. So while this is a good thing, everyone will be dumping their solar panels for new ones. If you really want to make a difference is to have better way to recycle the old solar panels.

  66. Gabe Donohoe says:

    Love the push for 100% renewable cities but I don’t understand. How can a city be 100% clean energy if there are still people driving internal combustion engines and heating their homes with oil? Does someone know the answer? Is it a technicality? Or are they saying the city is 100% clean electricity?

  67. 6,969 subs challenge? xXjAcKpLaYzzXx says:

    Not too keen on wind power because of the huge vegetation clearings, so fewer CO2 sinks, just for a generally inefficient energy source.
    However, using renewables including wind is a great step towards a more sustainable future, which I find very exciting!

  68. jaseyray93 says:

    Didn’t Nikola Tesla invent unlimited energy?? Is anyone trying to remake the Tesla coil?

  69. jaseyray93 says:

    Thanks for all the videos you make they are all so enlightening and inspiring 💛✨

  70. MemesTV says:

    Everyone saying that nuclear energy ftw is really just wrong. I mean what do you with nuclear waste? Dump it(like finland), leave it in the wild?(like india)

  71. Jonathan Lee says:


  72. Sherryl Keith says:

    Try some new solutions from Avasva solutions.

  73. ruzzell907 says:

    No mention that their backup power supply is the "evil natural gas and nuclear powerplants".

  74. RIMSON LOBO says:

    please make a vedio on pollution caused due to animal agriculture and live stocks (cowspiracy) which is a bigger issue then plastic

  75. M L says:

    “Over 90 cities across America has committed to going green”. But according to the American FactFinder, the 2012 Census of Governments counted 19,519 cities, 16,360 towns, and 3,031 counties. We have so much more work to be done 😞 Thanks for the share, now we know what we can do to make our government, mayors and governors move!

  76. Night Owl says:

    If u have a hard time being motivated to do zero waste, being sustainable etc just remember that if the apocalypse were to happen you'd probably survive cause you have 1. Renewable electricity 2. Supplies you don't need to buy more than once or can make yourself (toiletries e.g. Period products, utensils and bottles, homemade cleaning supplies) 3. Food Source (if you also do homesteading) 4. A way to get clean water (if u use a reusable water bottle with a filter) etc etc

  77. Tweeked Mobb says:

    encouraging first steps!

  78. DragoNate says:

    This should definitely be a priority everywhere, instead adding taxes for people NOT going green.
    For individuals it's way too expensive.

  79. Alan Thompson says:

    This sounds great, but I have heard that there are areas in Florida that discourage solar or wind assisted power, this came from the power companies themselves, threatening to disconnect people who did use solar or wind assistance, this really bummed me out because I want to move that way in the future.

  80. Lynda Schroeder says:

    Thank you so much, lovely lady. Keep looking for inventors who do better, faster…probably your age. Panels and windmills are too cumbersome-take up needed land and kill birds we need so desparetly but are a good start. Great job at any rate,though l do believe we have less time than most believe, and l hope l am wrong. GO GIRL!!

  81. Craig Andrew says:

    Meanwhile in Australia…we need more coal mines…..🤦🏻‍♂️

  82. Matt 0 says:

    Sounds perfect for those cold still winter nights

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