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Posts from the ‘Renewable Energy’ Category

How is Salt Lake City Getting to 100%?

SLCgreen‘s Division Director Debbie Lyons and Program Manager Tyler Poulson are presenting a webinar to a national audience on April 19th detailing Salt Lake City’s ambitious climate goals. Wondering how we’re getting to net-100% clean electricity? Sign up to listen live or to access the recording!

As part of that, we’re also excited to be featured in the Sustainable City Network magazine. We’ve included an excerpt here. 

SLC Library skyline

Sign up for our April 19 webinar “Moving the Needle Innovative Climate Solutions in Salt Lake City” at: http://bit.ly/2qoCSi3

 

By Randy Rodgers
Publisher & Executive Editor, Sustainable City Network

Things are heating up in Salt Lake City, Utah. And not in a good way.

The city is located in a region of the U.S. that climate scientists say is warming at more than twice the national average. It would be bad enough if the only victim of that problem was the area’s $1.3 billion ski resort industry, but local leaders know the stakes are higher than that, as water reserves decline and air quality reaches dangerous levels.

As daunting as these threats appear, Salt Lake City’s municipal government has partnered with its local electric utility to make an historic commitment that could become a model for all communities facing the dire effects of climate change in the years to come. The city and Rocky Mountain Power have signed an agreement and drafted a plan to acquire all the community’s electricity from renewable sources by 2032, reducing emissions, saving water and improving air quality in the process.

Salt Lake City gets most of its water from snowmelt in the surrounding mountains, and the city’s water reserves are significantly below historical norms. Higher temperatures are also accelerating the production of ground-level ozone, an invisible, odorless gas that can cause permanent damage to the lungs. Last year the city’s air exceeded the federal ozone standard on more than 20 days.

City officials are bracing for more of the same.

“The climate models show us that we’ll probably get about the same amount of overall precipitation, but it’s going to be coming as rain rather than snow,” said Vicki Bennett, the city’s sustainability department director. That means more of the water runs off in the spring, making less of it available later in the year. She said rising temperatures tend to increase water demand, which only exacerbates the problem.

Last year the Salt Lake County Health Department released a Climate Adaptation Plan for Public Health, which warned of many other health concerns related to the rising temperatures and altered precipitation patterns caused by climate change.

READ MORE AT SUSTAINABLE CITIES NETWORK

Utah Climate Action Network Nationally Recognized for Innovative Partnerships

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Vicki Bennett, Sustainability Director (middle) accepts the Innovative Partnership Certificate for the Utah Climate Action Network.

Last week the Climate Leadership Conference recognized eighteen businesses and organizations for their significant efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

The Utah Climate Action Network (UCAN) received an Innovative Partnership Certificate for bringing the public and private sectors together to find solutions for climate issues.

Read more

Sustainability 2017 Year in Review

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2018 is here! Once again, it is time to take note of all the achievements we’ve made over the past year, with your help and the support of many other partners both in and outside of Salt Lake City government.

As we look back on 2017, we want to share with you what we have done, where we are now, and what our goals are as we look ahead.

We publish an annual report detailing our major accomplishments each year.  You can read the highlights from 2017 below, or download the full report here.

Thank you to our many partners who’ve helped us along the way. And happy New Year from all of us at SLCgreen!

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New Climate Change Leaders Network Launched!

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Path to Positive Utah brings together 40 inaugural leaders who have committed to discussing and forging local solutions to climate change in Utah.

Read more in the press release below!

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 14, 2017 – Prominent Utah leaders from business, government, higher education, faith communities and civic organizations united on Nov. 14, 2017 to sign a declaration acknowledging shared responsibility for protecting Utah’s economy, air quality and environment, and safeguarding against the risks of climate change.

The gathering kicked off Path to Positive Utah, a collaborative initiative sponsored by Utah Clean Energy and ecoAmerica, that represents a diverse group of leaders seeking to understand, prepare for and raise awareness about climate change risks and solutions.

Read more

Salt Lake City featured in Sierra Club’s Ready For 100% Clean Energy Report

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Today, the Sierra Club released a new report showcasing 10 U.S. cities that have made ambitious commitments to be powered with 100 percent clean, renewable energy and the steps those communities are taking to achieve their goal. The report features Salt Lake City, along with Moab, and Park City as leaders in the 100 percent clean energy goal.

Read more

#UtahClimateWeek: What Can You Do?

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We’re in the middle of Climate Week in Utah! Our events have been a great success so far and we are looking forward to the rest of the week’s activities.

Today we want to focus on what you can do to combat climate change. Of course, national and international policies make a huge difference in how many emissions global society ultimately cuts in the coming years.

But each of us can also play a role. Here’s how:

Calculate your carbon footprint

Green Calculator

Measure your impact with this comprehensive carbon footprint calculator for individuals and households. It will show you how your consumption habits compare to national and global averages and give you suggestions on how to offset your carbon footprint. SLCgreen also has a handy list of household actions you can take to reduce your impact.

Knowledge is power

Misinformation on climate change is all-too-prevalent. Be informed. Check multiple sources focusing on articles which cite and list scientific studies.  Here is a sample of some reputable sites, documentaries, and books:

skepticalscience.com

grist.org

timetochoose.com

billmckibben.com

merchantsofdoubt.org

Walk the talk

Transportation plays a big role in our carbon footprint. The western states have all been working to install more electric vehicle infrastructure, making it a viable and increasingly affordable option for Utahns. Consider an EV next time you are purchasing a car.

Don’t discount the big impact that walking, taking public transit (HIVE passes are great for this), or riding a Greenbike can have on your carbon footprint!

223-DSC_0388 Read more

Be Prepared for Climate Emergencies, Joint Op-Ed from SLC’s Sustainability & Emergency Management Directors

Salt Lake City's Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett and Emergency Management Director Cory Lyman pen a joint op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune on climate change and emergency preparedness.

With all of the storms, hurricanes, and wildfires hitting our country this fall, we need to take the opportunity of September being Emergency Preparedness Month to prepare for and mitigate climate change.

Read the op-ed published in The Salt Lake Tribune from Salt Lake City’s directors of Sustainability and Emergency Preparedness.


By Vicki Bennett and Cory Lyman

September is Emergency Preparedness Month.

While Utahns traditionally take important measures to prepare for sudden natural disasters such as earthquakes, we also need to think about taking mitigating action for climate-related events such as extreme flooding, changing water supplies, wildfire and heat waves.

This need is amplified by the awful pictures we see of Hurricane Harvey and Irma and the destruction they have wrought. In Texas alone initial estimates are putting the damage at over $180 billion – that is billion, with a “b” – and we can’t start to comprehend numbers like that.

Scientists have been warning us for years that a warming climate increases the strength of storms like these — larger, powerful and devastating to our communities.

One month before Harvey hit, Salt Lake City experienced our own 200-year storm. .

CONTINUE ON THE TRIBUNE’S SITE.