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Posts tagged ‘climate change’

Nerdy Energy Science Saves SLC Money and Pollution

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Salt Lake City’s Public Safety Building is the first Net Zero facility of its kind in the country. Even so, energy benchmarking and tune-ups helped us realize even more dollar and emissions savings.

Did you know that our buildings, homes, and small businesses contribute over a third of the pollution that obscures the valley during the winter?

Also known as “area sources,” this sector is the second-largest source of emissions and is forecasted to become the largest one in the coming years (as cars continually get cleaner due to federal regulations).

This is why everything we can do to reduce emissions from our homes and buildings can make a difference to our environment and public health.  It’s also why the City is focused on educating residents and businesses about the crucial role of efficiency to our airshed and to our carbon footprint. To this end, we provide guides for home improvements, including details on thermostat controls, home insulation and efficient appliances to help move residential buildings toward a cleaner energy future.

Our skyline’s largest buildings also have a role to play. While there is no “silver bullet” for wiping away all of Salt Lake City’s air pollution problems, the city’s commercial buildings can help simply by measuring their energy usage and making efficiency improvements where feasible. Read more

Salt Lake City Community Members Launch U Drive Electric

 

In a joint press conference, the University of Utah and Salt Lake City today announced the launch of an electric vehicle purchase program extending discounts on multiple makes and models of vehicles. The second round of U Drive Electric offers U community members and Salt Lake City community members the opportunity to purchase or lease electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicles at discounted prices through Oct. 31, 2016.

This joint program is aimed at improving air quality and community health both today and for future generations. With almost 50 percent of Utah’s urban air pollution coming from tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles represent an important tool for improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.
Read more

Salt Lake City partnering on study for more clean energy

Salt Lake City, along with local government partners Park City and Summit County, is exploring creative new pathways towards securing more clean energy for the community.

The SLC City Council and elected officials from the other two communities recently adopted an Interlocal Agreement that commits the municipalities to collaborate and jointly fund a feasibility study. The study will evaluate renewable energy options, impacts, and opportunities to create a cleaner electricity supply for the long-term.

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More clean energy on the way!

The Interlocal Agreement reiterated what many of us already know–that energy choices have a notable impact on public health, including the economic and social well-being of current and future residents.  The Agreement also noted that Utah has an abundant supply of solar energy, being one of the 10 sunniest states in the U.S., and that a recent report from The Solar Foundation revealed that there are already over 2,500 solar jobs in Utah.

The communities are jointly seeking a firm to provide technical assistance and a feasibility report this year. Summit County has published a Request for Proposals.  Results of the study could be available as early as late 2016.

Transitioning to renewable energy is essential for the City to meet its climate and air quality goals. Emissions from electricity generation create over 50 percent of the Salt Lake City community carbon footprint and over 75 percent of the carbon pollution from local government operations.

Mayor Biskupski recently set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy for electricity used in government operations by 2032.  This new partnership with Park City and Summit County includes an expanded scope to help us get there.  As a whole, the study will evaluate clean energy options for the entire community, including all homes and businesses.

Stay tuned!

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Mayor Jackie Biskupski signs amicus brief in defense of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski joined more than 50 city and county governments from 28 states in signing an amicus brief in defense of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

“I signed this brief on behalf of Salt Lake City because the effects of climate change are real, but so are the solutions,” said Mayor Biskupski. “The EPA estimates that the Clean Power Plan will reduce the pollutants that contribute to smog by more than 25 percent, a change that will benefit everyone along the Wasatch Front, especially during our increasingly dangerous winter inversion season.”

The brief, filed in federal court today, argues the administration’s plan is critical to the safety and economic security of local communities across the United States. Signatories of the brief represent a diverse geographic, economic, and political mix. In all, the signatories represent 51 localities, home to more than 18 million Americans.

“Climate change challenges our very way of life in Salt Lake City. Increasing temperatures and a shorter winter season are resulting in less snow, threatening not only our billion dollar ski industry, but the water we need to keep up with our population growth,” said Mayor Biskupski. “My administration is committed to strengthening our actions in cleaning our air. This week I asked our city’s Department of Sustainability to work with mayors and cities across the Wasatch Front to provide any resources we can to help them join this fight.”

The full brief is available here: http://web.law.columbia.edu/climate-change/clean-power-plan-amicus-brief

Citizens’ Climate Lobby Brings the Wild West Together for Regional Conference

Citizens’ Climate Lobby hosted it’s 2016 Wild West Regional Conference in Salt Lake City this past weekend.  The event was rich with information about legislation, advanced communication, climate science and more.

Highlights included a panel discussion on exerting political influence with panelists Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Patrice Arent, Member of the Utah State House of Representatives, and Robert Axson, Central State Director for Senator Mike Lee.  Panelists emphasized the importance of building relationships across the political spectrum.

Mark Reynolds, Executive Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby lead several informative and inspirational sessions focused around CCL’s mission to create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power.

Another panel discussion titled Broadening our Reach to Under Represented Groups consisted of presentations by Piper Christian, high school student and COP21 attendee, on engaging young people on climate change, Nate Salazar on speaking to the Hispanic population, Dave Christian, Psychologist, on communicating with other political views, and Susan Soleil on Faith Communities and the Moral Imperative for Climate Justice. These panelists encouraged increasing diversity in political involvement by including young people, minorities, and people of faith.

The keynote presentation featured Dr. Rob Davies, physicist, Utah Climate Center, Utah State University speaking on ways to communicate about climate change that resonate with people’s emotions so that they feel motivated to take action.  The conference also included an evening performance by The Crossroads Project. This multi-media presentation combined video, classical music by the Fry Street Quartet, and monologue by Rob Davies about climate change science.

To learn more about Citizens’ Climate Lobby, visit their webpage.

 

Climate Variability & Health Symposium and Open House – April 6-7, 2016

Salt Lake County Health Department is hosting a free Climate Variability and Health Symposium on April 6&7.  The event is brings together a diverse audience of health professionals, climate experts, and the general public to study and discuss the local impacts of climate variability. The symposium will focus on the threat climate variability poses to human health, and the disproportionate impact those changes could have on vulnerable populations.

Presenters will cover a broad range of topics relevant to climate variability and public health, including the impact of changing temperatures on our food supplies, water availability (and quality), insect populations, air quality, and how best to protect our most vulnerable constituents. The symposium’s goal is to increase understanding of the public health issues climate variability presents, and encourage discussion on how to build a healthier, more resilient community.

For more information and to register, visit the Symposium event page.
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In addition to the academic portion, the symposium will also include a public open house on Thursday evening, April 7, that includes family-friendly activities for all ages.  Salt Lake County Health Department’s Climate Adaptation and Health Open House brings together members from many different parts of the community—scientists, skiers, students, families, and public health professionals—to learn and share knowledge about the local impact of climate variability.

With fun activities, educational booths, games, and engaging speakers, this event will have something for everyone. The goal is to educate and inspire the public to leave thinking how they can participate in climate adaptation and mitigation.

Presentations and activities:
-Utah Climate Action Network presentation
-Presentation on Salt Lake County’s Climate Adaptation Plan for Health
-CNG Batmobile
-Panel discussion with local business, scientific, and faith leaders
-Climate change displays by high school students
-Tracy Aviary
-Clark Planetarium
-Education stations for kids

For more information, visit the Open House event page.

Sustainable Living Solutions and Inspiration, Winter Market at Rio Grande

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March is Sustainable Living Solutions and Inspiration month at the Winter Market.  Meet with Utah business owners and organizations who inspire environmentally friendly living solutions. A handful of local agencies, including SLCgreen, will be in attendance at the Winter Market on March 12 and March 26 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm to discuss what services are available to you and how you can reduce your ecological footprint.

Did you know that electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest growing waste stream in the United States? Valuable precious metals can be salvaged from recycling e-waste and toxic chemicals are prevented from entering the landfill and ground water. Good news — Recycle Solutions will be onsite at the March Winter Markets collecting electronic waste from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm! Below is a list of acceptable goods.

Please note CTR TVs (tube TVs) or refrigerators will NOT be accepted at this collection event.

Accepted Items:
Batteries
Cameras
Cell Phones
Communications Equipment
Computers Fax/Copy Machines Ink/Toner Cartridges
Keyboards & Accessories
Laptops
Office Machines Monitors
Network Devices
Hand Held Devices
Printers & Scanners
Returned or Unwanted Products
Servers Stereos and Audio Equipment
Telephones
Televisions (No CRT TVs)
VCR’s & DVD Players
Washers & Dryers
Paper
Plastic

For more information visit the SLC Downtown Farmers Market website or Facebook page.