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Your group can sign on to this letter to add your support to our campaign.

The letter will be sent to the city council in early November with the list of group signees attached at the bottom.

2030 Goal: 100% Clean Energy and Carbon Neutrality for Ames


Dear Mayor Haila and Ames City Council:


We look forward to the City of Ames adopting a greenhouse gas emission reduction goal in December
2021 and developing a climate action plan to achieve it. The signees below support adopting a goal to
achieve citywide 100% clean energy and carbon neutrality by 2030.

This two-part goal will be achieved when:

  1. 100% of the energy used by the Ames community comes from renewable sources.

  2. The net CO2e contribution of Ames to the atmosphere is zero. This will occur when all sectors have fully decarbonized or invested adequately in carbon offsets to negate their emissions.

Forward-looking policies exist in cities such as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Decorah, Ann Arbor, Columbia, and Minneapolis. More governments and corporations are adopting 2035 as a target for carbon-free energy, and further, a January 2021 White House executive order committed to achieving a carbon-free electricity sector no later than 2035.


We recognize 2030 is very soon, and it is a timeline more aggressive than many others seek. Ames is in a position to adopt a shorter timeline thanks to the abundance of renewable resources in our immediate vicinity – wind, solar, geothermal, biomass – and our anticipation that federal and state programs will emerge as soon as 2022 to support communities that aggressively pursue low carbon energy. We recognize that our goal is in part dependent on the pace of resource and technology deployment outside of our community's control, and that a mid-course assessment might be made to determine if the goal should be revised.


Ames is committed to managing resources sustainably, but the global climate crisis now pushes us to dramatically increase our leadership in establishing our clean energy economy. Transitioning to 100% clean energy and a carbon-neutral community will require:

  • renewable electricity to all homes and buildings;

  • a shift from fossil-fueled vehicles to electric and alternative fuel vehicles;

  • emphasis on public transportation and alternative transportation infrastructure; and

  • increased energy efficiency in order to reduce energy waste and demand.

For sectors where it is more technologically difficult to reach carbon neutrality or where Ames does not have direct control, carbon offsets can be produced or purchased to negate carbon emissions. Ames should prioritize local carbon offset projects such as expanding urban forests, developing agricultural carbon sequestration projects, and increasing renewable energy production, although Ames will also need a plan for phasing out the use of offsets over time.


Sourcing emissions-free electricity will help Ames continue to be a desirable, sustainable city, providing benefits such as improved air and water quality, enhanced public health, and increased resiliency. The transition would support local green jobs, spurring economic activity across our city. It will help Ames attract and retain innovative businesses and development which complements the strengths of our land-grant university with its many arts, sciences, and technology programs. Finally, with an increased number of adverse climate events predicted in the coming decades, a resilient,
renewable energy system would allow for quicker recoveries from natural disasters and climate-induced events such as floods and severe storms.


We urge you to support a resilient, inclusive, equitable, and vibrant future for all people in the city of Ames and the ISU community by adopting a goal to achieve 100% clean energy and citywide carbon neutrality by 2030.

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