Jackie Biskupski: I asked Congress to support a 100 percent clean economy for all Americans. Here’s why.

(Chris Detrick | Tribune file photo) Mayor Jackie Biskupski speaks during a press conference on top of the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Through the new initiative, Subscriber Solar, the city will nearly double the amount of sustainable energy powering government operations by the end of 2016. Mayor Biskupski has set a 2020 goal to have 50% of municipal operations powered by renewable energy, and 100% by 2032.

In 2016 I was proud Salt Lake City committed to 100 percent renewable energy, and I’m proud to say we’re delivering on that goal. The climate crisis threatens the security and wellbeing of Utah communities, and our local economy and it must be addressed. To protect our winters, ensure our communities breathe clean air and create a strong local workforce, we must equitably move toward cleaner, healthier sources of electricity, like wind, solar, and energy storage.

That’s why in October, I headed to Washington, D.C., to ask Congress to support the 100% Clean Economy Act. I headed to D.C. to show Congress that transitioning to 100% clean energy is in reach.

Last month, Congress showed they listened by introducing the landmark bill. The 100% Clean Economy Act, sponsored by 150 members of Congress, will set a nationwide goal of achieving a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050. It builds on the local clean energy progress in Utah and across the country, and it meets the call for climate action that is getting louder and louder by the day around the world.

From Utah’s great lake to its red rocks and winding rivers, and across all communities of our home state, we have so much to gain by taking action to curb emissions and pollution. As the planet warms, our livelihoods and those of our children are on the line — the stakes couldn’t be higher. The time to take swift, bold climate action is now.

Salt Lake City is modeling a clean energy transition others are looking to follow. This year, three years after our city set this goal, the state passed the Community Renewable Energy Act, creating a pathway for Salt Lake City and any other Utah community committed to achieving a 100 percent clean energy goal.

Salt Lake City and 140 other cities in the U.S. are reaching for 100 percent renewable electricity and the entire country ought to follow our lead. Everyone deserves to reap the benefits of clean energy, and by working across state lines and parties, our efforts to address climate change will have a global impact.

The United States needs the 100% Clean Economy Act in order to achieve better health and environment, good-paying clean energy careers, and an economy that works for all. Equity outcomes are an integral part of this bill — particularly ensuring that a clean energy transition benefits low-income communities, communities of color, and communities that are most impacted by climate change.

Addressing the climate crisis will necessitate a cooperative spirit because transitioning away from fossil fuels is going to take everyone. Innovation, determination, and collaborative efforts to cut emissions are winning solutions here in Salt Lake City.

From net zero homes to expanding electric vehicle infrastructure to cleaning up our grid, Utahns are ready to greet the planet’s biggest challenge head-on, and deliver economic and health benefits to our community along the way. We just hope that the rest of the country is ready to join us.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski

Jackie Biskupski is the mayor of Salt Lake City.