Electrification of buildings and transport
Not every community has major fossil fuel infrastructure like refineries or pipelines, but most jurisdictions have buildings and transport systems that run on fossil fuels and can be electrified.
Buildings are one of the leading sources of climate warming emissions from cities. To combat this, a growing number of jurisdictions are passing policies to power buildings with electricity rather than methane gas and other fossil fuels. Electrifying space and water heating and ideally all appliances protects local health and safety and global climate. Many policies affect new construction. Some cities, such as New York City, are going even further and finding creative ways to responsibly phase fossil fuels out of existing buildings as well.
The benefits of getting fossil fuels out of buildings goes beyond the climate. A growing body of research is showing that despite being dubbed “natural” by the fossil fuel industry, the methane gas many people rely on for cooking is hazardous to human health. Methane gas is especially harmful to kids, with children growing up in homes with gas stoves suffering from asthma symptoms at the same rate as children who live with a smoker.
Electrification policies can also extend to vehicles and power generation. Fossil fuel based transportation emissions are expected to be the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution over the next few decades. Cities can take action towards moving people and goods without polluting our communities, and we’ve seen a number of jurisdictions mandate new buses will be all-electric and use Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) to ensure their community runs on 100% renewable energy.