A Victory for 100 Million People

A crowd holds up signs expressing their support for climate action and 100% clean energy.
A crowd holds up signs expressing their support for climate action and 100% clean energy.
Photo courtesy of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter

Recently, we passed a major milestone for clean energy in the United States. More than 100 million people now live in places committed to 100 percent clean energy. That’s almost one in three people in this country, representing 163 cities, 13 counties, eight states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

This milestone is a victory for everyone who has been forced to breathe polluted air or drink unclean water because they lived near a dirty power plant. Thanks to the dedication of local organizers across the country, fewer children will grow up with asthma. Fewer loved ones will suffer heart attacks or endure respiratory problems. It’s also an important victory in our quest for a stable climate: These clean energy commitments are the equivalent of eliminating the emissions from 66 million cars or retiring 79 coal plants.

It’s all the more impressive for having been achieved in spite of an administration that does everything in its power to prop up dirty fuels and undermine clean energy. That really shows the power of local, grassroots organizing even, or especially, when things are tough at the federal level. When we organize with our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and other people we know, we can win the things our communities need to flourish.

The Sierra Club’s ultimate goal is for everyone in this country to live in a community powered by 100 percent clean energy that’s affordable to all, and for no one to have to sacrifice their health and safety for the sake of dirty industries like coal, oil, and gas. The frontline activists and community leaders powering our campaigns are working toward a world with clean air, family-sustaining green jobs, affordable clean energy, and a more democratic and sustainable economy. While we’re not there yet, there are encouraging signs on the horizon.

The price of renewables keeps dropping — and they’re continuing to overtake fossil fuels. As of last Monday, electricity from renewable sources had powered more of the grid than coal for a record 40 straight days. The Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis predicts that renewables could power more of the grid than coal on an annual basis by the end of this year — for the first time in history.

Clean energy is popular across regions and political persuasions. According to a recent poll, 76 percent of people support increased investment in a transition to clean energy — including 66 percent of Republicans.

And, most importantly, we have 199 active Ready for 100 campaigns spread across the country, each of which is pushing its city, town, or state toward a clean energy economy. I’m excited to see what these powerful campaigns win next for their families, communities, and the planet we call home.

Ready to join the movement for good jobs and affordable clean energy? Find the campaign nearest you.

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