South Lake Tahoe, Calif. April 18, 2017 – South Lake Tahoe, California today became the 26th municipality in the United States and the latest in a growing coalition of mountain communities to commit to 100 percent clean and renewable electricity. On Tuesday, the South Lake Tahoe city council approved a measure establishing a goal of transitioning entirely to renewable sources of electricity by 2032.
Surrounded by city council members and key members of the community partners, Mayor Austin Sass also signed on to Climate Reality’s 100% Committed campaign.
This announcement comes on the heels of a similar pledge from Moab and Park City, Utah to transition to renewable electricity, showing that mountain communities are taking control of their energy future.
“South Lake Tahoe’s commitment for 100% renewable electricity is driven by our community,” said Mayor Austin Sass of South Lake Tahoe. “The passion to protect our natural resources made this commitment possible, and reflects the city’s vision statement to “reflect the National Treasure in which we live”.”
“The signing of the 100% renewable resolution today is a testament to what is possible,” said Nick Exline with 100% South Lake Tahoe. “We have seen citizens from across our community come together to tackle climate change by helping our city officials take bold action. We’re thrilled to see South Lake Tahoe commit to 100% renewable electricity.”
South Lake Tahoe’s announcement is grounded in a chilling reality. Winter tourism represents a $12.2 billion dollar industry, supporting thousands of jobs and sustaining the economies of communities throughout the country. Yet rising temperatures and climate disruption are threatening the future of many places where decreased snowpack threatens local industry.
Fourteen of the 15 hottest years on record globally have occurred since the beginning of this century, and 2016 is currently on track to be added to that list. By the end of the century, it is estimated that only six of the 19 cities that have previously hosted the Winter Olympics could be cold enough to host again.
“In the face of climate change in our own back yards, at our favorite ski mountain or hiking trail, a growing movement of mountain communities are coming together to determine our energy future, and it’s one without fossil fuels,” said Kim Stevens, I AM PRO SNOW Senior Regional Field Organizer. “We applaud the South Lake Tahoe city council for taking bold action to tackle the climate crisis and committing to 100 percent renewable electricity.”
“Given the impact that fossil fuel-driven climate change is already having on Lake Tahoe and our mountain communities, it’s critical that the region lead the way toward the bold clean energy solutions that we need to take for our kids and grandkids.” Said Sierra Club Climate Parent, John Fredrichson. “By committing to powering South Lake Tahoe with 100% clean and renewable energy, the City Council today has established Tahoe’s intention to be a national clean energy leader, no matter what is happening in Washington, DC.”
“We are excited to be facilitating this initiative in South Lake Tahoe and look forward to duplicating this effort in mountain communities across the Sierra Nevada,” said Jenny Hatch, Executive Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance. “By a collective effort, on the local level, we will make a tremendous impact. If local communities are interested in joining this growing movement, we welcome them contact us.”
About 100% South Lake Tahoe:
100% South Lake Tahoe is a coalition of community residents, businesses and organizations working together to create a 100% clean, renewable energy future. The Climate Reality Project’s I AM PRO SNOW, Tahoe Climate Change Action Network, Sierra Nevada Alliance, and Climate Parents actively engaged in the Tahoe 100% renewable energy campaign.