Stuff that matters

arch of the covenant

Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

St. Louis just became the biggest Midwestern city to commit to clean energy.

On Friday, Missouri’s most populous city voted to obtain 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2035. The unanimous decision makes St. Louis the 47th city in the United States to commit to a 100 percent clean energy goal.

Some of America’s biggest coal companies are based in the city, and Missouri gets about 75 percent of its electricity from coal plants right now. St. Louis will have to adapt at a rapid pace to keep up with its pledge — it currently gets only 5 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, and it has fewer than 20 years to close the gap.

So far, businesses are on board. Major employers in St. Louis, like Walmart and Nestle Purina, have already pledged support for the 100 percent renewable energy goal. And the city’s main electric utility, Ameren Missouri — currently the nation’s second-most coal-reliant utility — announced plans earlier this month to cut carbon pollution and increase investments in wind and solar.