May 9, 2019

Minnesota on verge of becoming next state to adopt goal of 100 percent clean energy

As the Minnesota Legislature considers a visionary goal to produce 100% of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2050, a similar movement nationwide is growing. So many U.S. cities and states have already made the 100% renewables pledge that an economy powered by 100% renewables appears inevitable.

Hundreds of Minnesotans are expected to gather Monday at the Capitol to show lawmakers that support for moving to an equitable clean-energy economy is widespread here. (Register for the rally.)

The environmental organization MN350 and the immigrant rights organization COPAL Minnesota are among more than 30 community partners that are part of the grassroots 100% Campaign.

“Minnesota used to be a leader in protecting the environment,” said Marco Hernandez, COPAL’s Environmental Justice Organizer. “Now we have a great chance to reclaim that leadership role and to do it in a way that includes everyone in our state, especially those most directly impacted. That includes our young people and our elders, people of every race and gender, all of us.”

Puerto Rico, following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, is leading the march to 100% renewables by setting a goal of 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2050.

In Minnesota the cities of St. Paul, Minneapolis, and St. Louis Park have committed to a standard even higher than the 100% by 2050 under consideration in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The leadership of the three municipalities has put them on a path to 100% renewable electricity community-wide by 2030. 

Another midwestern city, St. Louis, has committed to transition to 100% clean energy in the form of wind and solar and energy efficiency measures within the electricity sector by 2035, as have Atlanta and Cincinnati.

Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Chicago have also made the pledge, along with a total of 115 U.S. cities and towns, adding up to a total population of tens of millions of people committed to a 100% renewable energy future.

In addition to the 115 cities, eleven counties and the states of Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, and California have made the commitment.

Hernandez said the trail to the future has already been blazed. “Greenburg, Kan., converted to 100% renewables in 2013 after a tornado destroyed most of the town. Like the people of Puerto Rico, the residents of Greenerg decided they didn’t want to be culpable for the second destruction of their community by climate chaos.”

Georgetown, Texas, a small city of 64,000, showed that larger communities could go 100% renewable when it completed the transition in 2018. In the Twin Cities area, Minnetonka, a city of 50,000, will run solely on solar energy by the end of 2019. 

“The pace for making the commitment to convert from fossil fuels to 100% renewable is speeding up rapidly,” said Brett Benson, Communications Director of MN350. “We will all inevitably get there. We are committed to getting there before the climate crisis overtakes us.”



Brett Benson

Communications Director   | 651-368-1226