If successful, campaigns must eventually come to an end. At the Sierra Club, our goal is to transform systems of oppression into systems of genuine support built on justice, community, and interdependency. At its best, the Ready For 100 campaign embodied these principles. I’ve seen first-hand how dedicated this campaign has been to democracy and local agency in pursuit of 100 percent clean energy.
Ready For 100’s goal was to shift the narrative around clean energy from one of insecurity, scarcity, and pessimism to one of optimism, abundance, and possibility. Its message is this: We can transition to one hundred percent clean, renewable energy in the coming decades, and cities must lead that transition.
By organizing cities to commit to 100 percent clean energy and prioritizing local leadership, Ready For 100 challenged mayors and neighbors alike to think differently about where their energy comes from and how it impacts their communities. Ready For 100 helped many understand just how unequal our current energy system is: Air and water pollution from fossil fuel power plants disproportionately harm Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color, as well as low-income people. And the campaign took steps to dismantle that unjust and unsustainable energy system and replace it with a new and equitable energy system.
Now, it’s time to take the next step in the fight for 100 percent clean energy. The Sierra Club is breaking down silos and unifying its work to build long-term power, protect the climate, and shift to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. As part of that effort, in 2022 the Sierra Club will be concluding the Ready For 100 campaign and integrating its successful approach into existing climate work, as one movement. In the Gulf South, our movement is working to keep fracked gas in the ground. In states all over the country, people are calling for their energy companies to invest in cleaner, cheaper, more reliable electricity. We are also ramping up our advocacy to reduce unsustainable energy costs that largely burden people of color, reflecting the institutional racism in our energy systems. All of these issues are inextricably linked, and we celebrate the work that Ready For 100 has done to move us forward.
Celebrating Ready For 100
Ready For 100 represented a solution to the climate crisis when so many felt helpless and without agency. In 2016, the United States had just pulled out of the Paris Agreement. But many cities responded by declaring themselves #StillIn. Climate change remained a priority for city leaders and their communities. Ready For 100 seized on that enthusiasm, and helped deliver local, clean energy solutions to cities that wanted to make a difference.
Since that day nearly eight years ago, many cities, states, and municipalities have committed to 100 percent clean energy. While the Ready for 100 campaign can’t claim all of these successes, we’re immensely proud of the way we reached these milestones in the local efforts we had a hand in shaping. Though we did not always live up to our own principles, we know these values will live on within the organization and our network of dedicated volunteers and co-conspirators.
In the Mayors for Clean Energy campaign, more than 220 mayors across the country pledged to transition away from fossil fuels equitably and justly.
Today, 200 communities, 10 school districts, eight states, D.C., and Puerto Rico have committed to transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2050.
The number of people living in a city committed to clean energy has grown to 1 in 3 people—a more than 2,000 percent increase.
Additionally, nearly 100 communities from Santa Monica, California to Greensburg, Kansas are now completely powered by clean energy, with many more on the horizon.
Thank You, Ready For 100
We’ve been so honored to be part of a movement for 100 percent clean energy that has only continued to grow and evolve. We’re excited about what we’ve all achieved through Ready For 100, and what the future holds for all of us as we work together as one movement. Onward!