The city received a total of $6.5 million in settlement money from BP for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, $1 million of which has been set aside for environmental projects. The city council just voted to allocate $250,000 of that money to an “Integrated Sustainability Action Plan” to begin moving St. Petersburg to a 100 percent renewable energy and zero-waste model. In addition, $250,000 will be put toward assessing the city's energy efficiency, and $300,000 will go to evaluating and mitigating the area's risks from sea level rise and hurricanes.
These aren't the only moves the city has made toward sustainability. Earlier this summer, Mayor Rick Kriesman issued an executive order for the city to implement policies to eventually become a net-zero municipality, and this budget plan will further his goals.
St. Petersburg is the first city in Florida to commit completely to clean energy, and only the 20th city in the entire country to do so. However, the city has yet to create a timeline for when the transition will be completed. Around the world, many regions and countries—from Germany to Cape Verde to the Philippines—have already made such commitments, pledging to transition to clean energy by as early as 2020, though many places are operating on 20- to 30-year timelines.
[h/t Orlando Weekly]