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Act on Climate: The 4th Annual Utah Climate Week is September 21 – 27, 2020

Home damage from the hurricane-force wind storm Salt Lake City experienced on Sept. 8, 2020.

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So far 2020 has been a record year for climate-related natural disasters. Alongside the global coronavirus pandemic, severe weather like what we experienced with last week’s wind storm, record breaking temperatures in August, and fires burning throughout the Western United States, have shown us first-hand the effects of climate change in our backyards.

That’s why it’s more important than ever to call attention to climate change– and the urgency of taking action at all levels.

We’re in luck because the Fourth Annual Utah Climate Week is coming up from September 21 – September 27 and offers everyone the platform not only to learn and engage, but also to call attention to climate change during what has seemed like a year of jumping from one immediate crisis to another.

So many people are struggling and so many are exhausted with all 2020 is bringing to bear on our communities. We hear that and we feel it too.

And that’s exactly why we must continue looking at the big picture, and to draw the connections between immediate events and the larger harm we’re doing to our planet.

This year’s Climate Week will be a little different– there won’t be in-person events, but there are a suite of interesting and engaging events taking place online and we hope to see you at one or more of them.

Then join us on social media to highlight why you care about climate change. Use the tags #UtahClimateWeek and #ActOnClimate to call attention to this issue!

If you’re not a big social media user, take the opportunity to do some learning, then perhaps have a conversation with your friends, family, or other networks. Whatever you do: Learn. Activate. Engage. Let’s go!

Utah Climate Week 2020

See the full Utah Climate Week schedule of events here.

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Utah Climate Week is an annual event– now in it’s fourth year– and is coordinated by the Utah Climate Action Network, Utah Clean Energy, and many partners. The week provides a chance to learn, share resources, and re-commit to the necessary work to #ActOnClimate.

Check out the list of events here.

We’ve been involved in planning and coordinating one event in particular and we’d like to invite you to attend.

The Utah Sustainable Business Coalition and the Salt Lake City e2 Business Program are hosting a panel discussion on how local businesses of all sizes are working to improve sustainability at their companies.

The event will be held on Tuesday, September 22 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. on Zoom. Click here to register!

Register for the Utah Sustainable Business Coalition during Climate Week here.

Environmental Justice and Climate Change

As we have noted in previous blog posts, sustainability and resiliency intersect with environmental, social, economic, and equity work.

Communities of color are disproportionately affected by climate change. In Utah, the health threats of air pollution are the most obvious example. On a global scale, climate change and pollution are affecting us all, especially coupled with COVID-19, starting with communities who are already experiencing systemic racism and inequity.

Because these areas of life are directly connected, it is important to take action on every level. Individuals; businesses; and local, state, and national governments have an important role to play in addressing inequity and supporting sustainability.

What Can You Do?

As the pandemic, unhealthy air quality, heat, wind, and loss of electricity continue to mar this summer and fall’s normal activities, it can feel frustrating and even distressing to address the bigger issues of climate change. However, the good news is, we can all do something. One of the most important steps to consider as you address your own climate impact is carbon emissions.

This household guide can help you decide which actions are right for you and what you can do from home.

You can also take steps to protect the airshed, reduce emissions through proper recycling and composting, and shrink your carbon footprint by eating less meat.

Then put your knowledge of sustainable actions to the test with this quiz from the New York Times that will help you envision the impact of your actions!

Here are a few actions to take at home to reduce your carbon footprint and help #ActOnClimate.

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What Salt Lake City is Doing?

As we’re seeing– whether it’s a storm, wildfire, disease, or other disaster, local government plays a critical role in responding to these crises that intersect emergency response, climate, and health.

That’s why we as local government must take bold action as well.

Along with partnering with key climate groups including the Utah Climate Action Network, Salt Lake City continues to take steps towards meeting our Climate Positive 2040 goals.

These include reaching net- 100% renewable energy for community electricity supply by 2030 as well as an 80% reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 (compared to a 2009 baseline). Achieving these two goals would result in drastically cutting our carbon footprint as a City.

One of our latest projects is the recent unveiling of a new solar installation at the Sorenson Community Campus. Initiatives like these, which help bring renewable energy to the community and address inequities in our City, are helping us get closer to our Climate Positive goals.

See a more comprehensive list of Salt Lake City policies and climate projects here.

Please join us in amplifying the importance of acting on climate by sharing your story or call to action on social media using the hashtags #UtahClimateWeek and #ActOnClimate.

We also hope to see you at a virtual Climate Week event next week!

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