SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, members of the City Council, other city leaders, and members of the business and nonprofit community gathered on the steps of City Hall to launch the city’s initiative to transition the community to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2032 and to reduce carbon emissions citywide by 80 percent by 2040. The commitment, called Climate Positive 2040, comes as a result of a joint resolution signed by the mayor and the Salt Lake City Council.
The commitment makes Salt Lake City one of only a handful of cities worldwide to pledge an 80 percent reduction in community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
“This is the most ambitious step ever taken by Salt Lake City to address the threat of climate change,” said Biskupski. “This commitment places the city among leading communities worldwide that acknowledge our responsibility to rapidly reduce emissions and forge a new path forward that protects our economies, societies, and overall human well-being.”
In January, during the mayor’s State of the City Address, Salt Lake City committed to 100 percent renewable electricity sources for its government operations, along with major carbon reductions for city operations, but this resolution expands the scope to include all electricity and emissions on a community scale.
“The goals in our resolution may seem aggressive. To that I say, they are realistic if we want to actually change the air we breathe,” said Salt Lake City Council Member Erin Mendenhall who sponsored the joint resolution. “This has been a long time council priority we have supported for years through budget priorities, ordinances, and resolutions, helping lay the foundation for the city to take the leap.”
The joint resolution cited the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and being driven by the burning of fossil fuels. The resolution also acknowledged local impacts such as changes in water systems and extreme weather events that are affecting Salt Lake City now and will be exacerbated in the future.
“We can tackle this challenge and deliver clean energy solutions that will simultaneously improve air quality, protect public health, and deliver local jobs. Leading on climate change today is an obligation we all share with each other and to future generations,” said Biskupski.
More details on this commitment by Salt Lake City including a copy of the joint resolution are available at www.slcgreen.com/climatepositive.
Publication date: 8/2/2016