Record #: R2019-157   
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Intro date: 3/13/2019 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Health and Environmental Protection
Final action: 4/10/2019
Title: Support for implementation of clean energy transition plan
Sponsors: Emanuel, Rahm
Attachments: 1. R2019-157.pdf





March 13, 2019














Ladies and Gentlemen:


I transmit herewith a resolution regarding Chicago's implementation of a clean energy transition plan.


Your favorable consideration of this resolution will be appreciated.




Very truly yours,




WHEREAS, The City of Chicago is committed to promoting and encouraging clean renewable energy generation in order to invest in local economies and provide local jobs and workforce development opportunities; and


WHEREAS, Renewable Chicago Project released a renewable energy deployment initiative in September 2018 which outlines how the City and Sister Agencies can power municipal buildings with clean renewable energy by 2025, in accordance with Mayor Emanuel's April 2017 commitment to a renewable energy future for Chicago; and

WHEREAS, The City of Chicago is a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which connects more than 90 global megacities focused on addressing climate change through bold urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, well-being, and economic opportunities for these cities' residents; and


WHEREAS, The Future Energy Jobs Act mandates that Illinois source 25% of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and addresses the need to create more accessible methods of engagement and decision-making by low-income, frontline, and environmental justice communities through the Illinois Solar For All program and similar programs; and


WHEREAS, Climate change will bring unprecedented environmental changes including extreme heat, heavy precipitation, and flooding to our region, which will stress our finite resources; and


WHEREAS, The use of clean, renewable energy such as wind, solar, and geothermal has significant public health and environmental co-benefits; and


WHEREAS, Community residents led efforts to close the Crawford and Fisk coal-fired power plants in 2012, which helped to avoid more than 40 premature deaths, 550 emergency room visits, and 2800 asthma attacks annually, supported by over 12 years of work by a diverse coalition of community leaders, parents, environmental advocates, and health care professionals; and


WHEREAS, Hazel Johnson's trailblazing environmental justice work on Chicago's Southeast Side illuminated the linkage between socioeconomic, public health, and environmental inequities experienced in low-income and communities of color across the US, led to the passage of the first federal legislation to address environmental justice, and empowered strong environmental justice leadership and organizing in communities beyond Chicago, earning her recognition as the Mother of Environmental Justice; and


WHEREAS, Residents of communities experiencing disproportionate cumulative impacts of environmental exposures and population vulnerability, as well as other communities across Chicago, desire a just transition away from all fossil fuels that prioritizes environmental justice, public health, community self-determination, high-quality jobs, and ownership opportunities for local residents; and


WHEREAS, Chicago's workforce, capital, and private investments will continue to grow as the City takes bold, progressive action towards carbon neutrality and climate justice; and



WHEREAS, This energy transition is an opportunity to build equity for communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in the energy field and marketplace as the City of Chicago is committed to maximizing opportunities to right inequity, particularly in impacted communities; and


WHEREAS, The City's commitment to develop local clean energy infrastructure will significantly stimulate the local economy through the manufacturing, construction, operations, service, and procurement sectors by the creation of new prevailing wage careers and the development of the local clean energy industry workforce, particularly in impacted communities; and


WHEREAS, The City can continue to implement inclusive procurement policies, such as the U.S. Employment Plan implemented by the Chicago Transit Authority, to ensure high economic development standards in clean energy infrastructure; and.


WHEREAS, The cost of wind and solar energy is rapidly falling and opportunities such as community solar, distributed renewable energy generation, and microgrids are making renewable electricity easier to access; and


WHEREAS, The City of Chicago will be the largest city in the country to commit to a robust, community-wide renewable energy commitment through the Ready for 100 campaign; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED, That we, the Mayor and Members of the City Council of the City of Chicago, assembled this thirteenth day of March 2019, commit to transition to 100% clean renewable energy community-wide beginning with 100% renewable electricity in buildings by 2035 and complete electrification of CTA's bus fleet by 2040; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we commit to ensuring that community-wide power will come from the generation and storage of clean, renewable energy from solar, wind, and geothermal sources with an emphasis on new and local resources; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City of Chicago will develop a transition plan by December 2020, which will outline key strategies, set progression milestones, develop a timeline for reaching an equitable clean energy transition, and further opportunities to create a 100% clean, renewable energy future community-wide, as well as addressing issues including but not limited to:


Prioritizing energy efficiency investment for municipal, residential, industrial, and commercial buildings, structures, ancillary power, and auxiliary services; and building upon the Future Energy Jobs Act's energy efficiency targets that require ComEd to reduce electricity use for its customers by 21.5 percent by 2030


Seeking to provide benefits for all residents by weighing cost effectiveness, equity, displacement,-and economic development


Promoting and investing in clean, accessible, and renewable transit and transportation solutions throughout the city to maximize emission reductions

Leveraging the City's purchasing power to invest in companies committed to recruiting, hiring, and retaining historically disadvantaged workers and displaced fossil fuel workers



to manufacture clean energy infrastructure and equipment at a prevailing wage with comprehensive benefits

Ensuring accessibility and shared benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency through processes such as community solar and inclusive financing

Engaging communities to determine principles of a just transition, identify key equity metrics, and develop a meaningful community feedback process that includes listening to members of impacted communities and centering their needs, goals, and concerns

Stimulating local economies by creating and maintaining prevailing-wage career pathways for workers in local distributed renewable energy generation, infrastructure modernization, energy efficiency improvement, and beneficial vehicle and building electrification projects

Ensuring that environmental and public health policies fully recognize and respond to the disparate impacts of public health and environmental inequities experienced in low-income and communities of color

Reevaluating and improving the transition plan based on real, community-wide trends, successes, and challenges; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City of Chicago will work with community-based organizations and leaders to develop the transition plan through an inclusive stakeholder engagement process, with a particular focus on the needs of low-to-moderate income residents and communities that have been most impacted by environmental injustices.