But now and then, encouraging news emerges—a technological breakthrough, or an ambitious government policy, or a punch to the gut for coal. This week’s good news is a report by CDP, an environmental outfit with an unlovely name, on the increasing number of cities that run mostly on renewable energy. The report, flagged by Georgina Gustin of Inside Climate News, shows that more than 100 urban areas now derive at least 70 percent of their power from some combination of wind, solar, hydro, and biomass. When the Paris Agreement was reached in 2015, just 42 cities could make the same claim.
Of the 100 cities, 57 are in Latin America, and they depend primarily on hydropower. In the United States, only four cities meet the 70-percent threshold: Seattle; Burlington, Vermont; Eugene, Oregon; and Aspen, Colorado. Aside from Seattle, those aren’t exactly megalopolises. But 58 US cities, including big places such as Atlanta and San Diego, intend to reach similar levels of renewable usage within the next two decades.
An excuse for a party? Not really. But maybe an excuse for a good night’s sleep.