Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Climate Positive SLC’

Utah Climate Week is Coming Up!

by Emily Seang, SLCgreen intern

utah climate week

Source: Utah Climate Action Network

October is the month for falling leaves, cooler breezes and– now in its second year– Utah Climate Week!

Why Climate Week?

According to the latest National Climate Assessment, global temperatures will rise by some amount this century. The extent of the increase, however, will depend on how aggressively global society can rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

This change in the climate is already contributing to existing extreme weather patterns all over the world.

This is the case in Utah too. In 2018 alone, Utah has felt the effects of climate change on many fronts, including low water levels, an explosion of algal bloomspoor air quality, extreme heat, and frequent wildfires. These repercussions take a toll on our health, as well as our summer and winter outdoor recreation past-times and economic drivers.

Record 50 degree nights 2018

The National Weather Service tweeted a record 131 days in 2018 that temperatures in the Salt Lake City area did not dip below 50 degrees F.

Climate change is clearly a concern to our public safety, natural resources, and economic development. But we can all play a role in amplifying the message that it’s time to take action.  We can also look at our daily routines and make small changes that add up to meaningful emissions reductions.

These are the goals behind the Second Annual Utah Climate Week.

Utah Climate Week is hosted by the Utah Climate Action Network, a partnership that aims to reduce emissions, enhance resiliency, and engage individuals and local leaders within our state.

Utah is one of only a few other communities to host a climate week, joining the likes of New York City and LondonRead more

Salt Lake City Represents at the Global Climate Action Summit

US Conference of Mayors GCAS

The U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in San Francisco on Sept. 11, 2018. Photo: U.S. Conference of Mayors

PRESS RELEASE: September 10, 2018

– – – – –

Mayor Jackie Biskupski and SLCgreen Director Vicki Bennett join hundreds of leaders and attendees from across the world this week in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) on Thursday and Friday, with partner events kicking off Tuesday and Wednesday.

At a time when the federal government is backtracking on its climate commitments, cities, states, businesses, non-profits, and other stakeholders are stepping in to fill the void.

The Summit is focused on amplifying the commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement, which 195 countries signed in 2015. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.  The Summit, as described on their website, “is timed to provide the confidence to governments to ‘step up’ and trigger this next level of ambition sooner rather than later.” Read more

Sixteen Local Governments in Utah Call for Climate Cooperation

One of SLCgreen’s goals is to inspire action locally and nationally around climate change. Mayor Biskupski is a leader of several national coalitions to do exactly this– including the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean Energy and the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Alliance for a Sustainable Future committee– and we’re privileged to support her work at that level.

It’s also critical to organize locally and we’ve put together workshops and meetings with fellow local governments to discuss how Utah can be a leader on climate and air quality.

PSB solar

Solar panels and the Wasatch Mountains. Shot on the roof of Salt Lake City’s Public Safety Building.

This week we’re excited to share that the Deseret News published an op-ed that demonstrates this cooperation and commitment in Utah to #ActOnClimate.

Sixteen local governments from Salt Lake City to Provo, Moab to Park City, Cottonwood Heights to Heber, and more joined us in calling for increased cooperation to mitigate climate disruption. Read more

This is What the Future Looks Like

Project Open’s All-Electric Apartments Set the Stage for Eco-Friendly Affordable Living

 

Outside Project Open2

by Ryan Anderson, SLCgreen intern

If you’ve been to Salt Lake City in the winter, you know that our air quality leaves room for improvement. Our air pollution has already been found to have severe health impacts, and it’s crucial that we act now before the problem worsens.

Winters are plagued by inversions and in the summer we have a growing problem with ozone.

Both of these problems are directly tied to the emissions we put into the air. While transportation is the largest source, our homes and buildings are a close second and are projected to become the top polluter in the coming years.

With Utah’s population expected to double in the latter half of this century and a growth rate three times the national average, reducing emissions and improving our air quality has become even more pressing.

A key step in securing a healthier future for our community is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas in residential and commercial buildings, plus the transportation sector.

Luckily, there are solutions. If we design and build our structures smarter, we can reduce much of the pollution that comes from our buildings. And if these structures also incorporate green transportation features, we can significantly move the needle on both air pollution and our community carbon footprint.

That’s why we’re excited to feature a forward-thinking new housing complex that is innovating on all of these fronts.

Read more

Salt Lake City Opens the First Net Zero Fire Station in the Country

DdaeoLjVMAABQrB

Did you see the news about Salt Lake City’s grand opening of Fire Station 14 earlier this month?

We are thrilled our fire crews have a new home base from which to work, rest, and recover.

This building is also notable for its sustainability features.

It’s not just a model for the state of Utah, but for the country. In fact, Fire Station 14 is the first Net Zero energy fire station in the U.S! Read more

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

Check out our Roadmap for Electrified Transportation!

 

EV Roadmap image

Pop-out doors, instant acceleration, electric bikes, autonomous electric ride-share programs. . . the future is exciting when it comes to electrified transportation.

And, in many cases, the future is here. So local governments better get ready!

That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to a new report SLCgreen recently co-produced with Utah Clean Energy.

The Electrified Transportation Roadmap describes 25 steps that local governments can take to accelerate the electric transportation revolution.

The Roadmap outlines how local governments can implement a variety of electric powered modes of transit including electric vehicles (EVs), e-bikes, electric transit, and electrified ridesharing.

Salt Lake City has integrated a number of these best practices into our internal operations, and we’re now working toward more community-scale projects as part of our Climate Positive SLC plan.

As the capital city’s sustainability department, we also believe it’s important to share what we’ve learned with other local governments.

That’s the idea behind the Roadmap—as well as a workshop we organized March 14 with representatives from 16 local governments across the Wasatch Front to talk about best practices and to view EV options from a variety of local dealers. Read more