ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg has adopted its first-ever Integrated Sustainability Action Plan. 

The city council reviewed and adopted the plan on Thursday. The goal is to fit sustainability into the normal budget so it doesn't cost residents any money. 

Four years ago the city formed a department to address climate change wuth the the focus of the group being energy efficiency. 

"This is a momentous day for St. Pete," said Mayor Rick Kriseman. "I am most appreciative of council's support, the hard work of my city team, and the commitment of our residents. In just a few short years we have gone from falling way behind to leading the way. American cities can now look to us as a shining example of how local government can contribute meaningful solutions to a global crisis."

The city said more energy efficient homes and businesses will be a focus. Transitioning city vehicles to a "green fleet" or electric fleet is part of the plan. And for the future, there is even a new public works building planned that will incorporate the city's new electric vehicles and other technology. 

The city's overall long range goal: 

  • The city wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent no later than 2020
  • The city wants to be 100 percent reliant on what it calls clean energy by 2035
  • And the long range plan out to 2050 is have an 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gases

"St. Pete's commitment to sustainability and resiliency is no longer just talk," said Council Member Darden Rice. "City Council's approval of the first-ever ISAP solidifies that commitment and now it is time to put the plan into motion. 

"I believe that the ISAP reflects who we are as a city, not only in the way that we care for the environment but the audacious nature of our goals and our readiness to lead. These benefits will improve the health, livelihoods, and quality of life of St. Pete's residents."