Working towards peace and sustainability

Help CoMo Go Renewable--What You Can Do, And Why.

Peaceworks members and supporters who live in Columbia have the opportunity to majorly move our city in a greener, more sustainable direction, something that will benefit all of us. Our actions here can also serve as a model for other cities across our state and beyond.

Peaceworks is working with our allies in Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters, Amnesty International, Climate Leaders at Mizzou and several other groups to press forward the shift to clean, renewable energy, specifically working to get Columbia Water and Light to get 100% of their power from renewable sources by 2030.

Siemens, the top-tier engineering consultant the City hired has studied likely demand and available sources to meet our future electric needs. They concluded that 100 percent renewable by 2030 is doable. Their report lays out three scenarios for getting to 100 percent. They concluded we could do this by 2030, by 2040 or by 2050. We believe that we’ve kicked the can down the road for far too long already, and the right thing is to adopt a plan to reach 100% by 2030.

Focusing first on the electric sector is also the only feasible way to achieve a 50% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body that brings together the world’s leading scientists in these fields, has indicated that, to keep global warming below 1.5C, we need to make these deep reductions this decade. Staying below 1.5C is necessary to avoid the worst case impacts of climate change.

Currently, 44.4 percent of CoMo’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the generation of Columbia Water & Light’s power. If we replace the coal and gas-generated power, we are nearly halfway to our goal. Switching from burning fossil fuels to capturing the energy of the sun and the wind is easier to do quickly, as the existing distribution system and the end-use appliances, lights, etc. all can stay in place. Switching our heating systems from gas to electric, or our transportation from gasoline to electric, will take tens of thousands of changes at the individual consumer level, and this would almost certainly take longer to accomplish.

Adopting the 2030 goal not only reduces our emissions, but also allows CoMo to be an example to others around Missouri and beyond. It also makes us a more attractive place for people to live and for firms to do business. It will be a feather in our caps that businesses can use to attract customers, being able to claim that their operation runs entirely on renewable energy. The mantle of leadership is, of course, not the primary reason for doing this, but it really is an additional benefit.

Going renewable also can contribute to the health of our mid-Missouri economy. Not only are wind and solar now less expensive than coal; in addition, solar farms provide skilled, good-paying jobs. When we go 100 percent renewable, we will no longer have to pay for coal mined in Wyoming and burned in faraway locations. #CoMo100by2030 is win-win-win!

All of this is doable, but we need your participation to make it a reality.

What you can do: 

Sign yourself, and help collect signatures on, our petition:  If you haven’t yet signed and you live in Columbia you can sign on-line here or print hard copy petitions here (on 14” legal paper), gather signatures and return them to us at the Peace Nook. 

Help collect endorsements of businesses and organizations:  We can demonstrate broad support for a clean energy future by showing that houses of worship, non-profit groups and businesses of all sizes agree that now is the time to move forward to achieve the goal of cutting our greenhouse gas emissions in half this decade.

If you own or operate a business, or are a member of any group that would like to endorse, you can download the endorsement form as well as a background sheet here

Please return any petitions and/or endorsement forms you collect ASAP. We don’t know how soon this will come before the City Council, and thus there’s not a deadline, but the sooner is not just better, it’s best.