Birmingham’s Mayor Woodfin signs Gasp Mayors for 100% Sustainable Energy Pledge

Altamont School Birmingham Alabama
Altamont School Birmingham Alabama
Solar array installation at Altamont School. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

According to a Gasp news release, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin became the first mayor of an Alabama city to sign Gasp’s “Mayors for 100% Sustainable Energy Pledge.”

The commitment is part of the clean air organization’s Alabama Cities for Sustainable Energy campaign, which also includes a draft resolution for town councils to use to craft their own pro-renewable energy policies.

GASP defines sustainable energy as energy generated from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, that results in little to no emissions.

“Climate change is the most urgent crisis facing the world today. Future generations will be harmed by our leaders’ inaction today. We are thankful that Mayor Woodfin is not only affirming that he believes the science behind climate change, but also that he is committed to taking action to ensure a just and equitable transition away from a fossil-fuel economy that disproportionately harms the poor and communities of color,” said Gasp Executive Director Michael Hansen.

Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor, Randall Woodfin
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin visits with enthusiastic constituents, via Twitter

Mayor Woodfin signed the pledge on March 14, 2018 — the day before the mayor unveiled his transition team’s report called “The Woodfin Way.” That report included a commitment to invest in renewable energy, as well as with several other recommendations for environmental justice and sustainability projects.

Overall, Alabama ranks 49th in solar energy jobs per capita, yet the state ranks in the top 20 for solar potential. Alabama gets 60 percent of its electricity from fossil-fuel-based energy sources.

Bham Now reached out to Mayor Woodfin’s office about the pledge.  He was not ready to comment at this time.

Below is the pledge Gasp is asking mayors and city councils to sign:

I believe sustainable energy is good for the City of [fill in the blank] and the State of Alabama because it will create economic development opportunities and job.

I believe sustainable energy will help the City of [fill in the blank] and the State of Alabama become a more just and equitable place to live, work, and learn.

I believe the overwhelming scientific consensus of anthropogenic climate change and that it is an urgent global challenge.

I believe that local, community-focused solutions are essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

I believe that it is important for the City of [fill in the blank] to transition away from dirty fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency, solar, wind, and pollution-free electric public transportation.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.