Climate Positive 2040
What is Climate Positive SLC?
“Salt Lake City is committed to protecting the public health and safety of its residents, including ensuring access to clean air, clean water and a livable environment.”
These are the opening words of a Mayor-Council Joint Resolution adopted on November 1, 2016. The Resolution goes on to detail the scientific consensus regarding climate change, which is that the planet is warming and carbon pollution is a major driver of this, and the City’s commitment to address this challenge.
The Joint Resolution was updated in 2019 to move the goal of achieving net-100% clean electricity for the community from 2032 to 2030.
Climate Positive SLC is the platform through which the City will document its progress on a variety of climate related goals. Through the Joint Resolution, the City resolves to achieve two interrelated goals:
- 100 X 2030: 100% Renewable Energy for Community Electricity Supply by 2030
- Goal includes 50% renewable electricity for municipal operations by 2020 (see 2016 resolution here). See a press release from Nov. 2020 about the successful approval of a large renewable project to more than achieve this goal (resulting in 90% of Salt Lake City’s municipal needs powered by renewable energy).
- Learn more details about HB411, the Community Renewable Energy Act.
- Salt Lake City is collaborating with other “Utah 100 Communities” to move forward on our net-100% clean electricity goal. Learn more about the collaboration at the Utah 100 website and in this blog post.
- 80 X 2040: 80% Reduction in Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2040, Compared to 2009 Baseline
- Goal includes at least 50% reduction in community footprint by 2030
Salt Lake City is prioritizing a near-term transition to clean, renewable energy since carbon pollution from electricity generation represents over half of the community carbon footprint. Mayor Jackie Biskupski and then-Rocky Mountain Power CEO Cindy Crane signed a Clean Energy Cooperation Statement detailing goals, timing and scope for this vision. (See our Clean Electricity Implementation Plan with Rocky Mountain Power for more detail).
Reducing emissions from other sources, including on-road transportation and natural gas used in facilities, will also be critical to achieving the 80 X 2040 goal. Climate Positive represents a holistic approach for Salt Lake City government, businesses and households to reduce carbon pollution and build resiliency to impacts and vulnerabilities in a warming world.
See SLCgreen Director Vicki Bennett discuss Salt Lake City’s Climate Positive Plan
What We’re Doing
Although climate change is considered a global crisis and impacts the security of the world’s nations, many of the natural resource, public health and infrastructure impacts associated with climate change are being addressed on a local community level.
Through a variety of efforts, including policy action, designing efficient buildings, sourcing renewable energy and installing solar on City buildings, implementing sustainable infrastructure, and shifting to alternative fuel fleets, Salt Lake City is working to plan for and mitigate the impacts of climate change on our community.
Click here to learn more.
What You Can Do
How can you help? Click here to find several tools and resources to help you save money, reduce your energy consumption, and help Salt Lake City achieve its climate and energy goals.
Partnerships & Initiatives
Utah Climate Action Network. Salt Lake City is a founding Convener of the Utah Climate Action Network, a collection of organizations across all sectors committed to addressing climate change in Utah. The Network has a formal mission to “Foster diverse conversation, leadership and coordinated cation to ensure a collaborative response to climate change and its impacts on the people, economies and prosperity of Utah.
The community-based Empower SLC program is an energy efficiency outreach initiative funded with a $200,000 investment from Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department and implemented by the non-profit Utah Clean Energy. Empower SLC aims to bring the cost-savings, increased comfort, and pollution-reduction benefits of energy efficiency to areas of Salt Lake City’s 84104 and 84116 zip codes.
Mountain Accord. The City is a partner in Mountain Accord, a collaborative effort of local, state and federal stakeholders to determine the best plan for future uses of the Central Wasatch Mountains that balances GHG emissions and climate change impacts with environmental preservation, recreation, and the development of sustainable transportation corridors and modes.
Western Water Assessment. The City is a co-contributor to the applied research of Western Water Assessment with the National Center for Atmospheric Research and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory to apply scientific analysis and modeling to address vulnerabilities related to climate, particularly in the area of water resources for Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
Western Adaptation Alliance. The Western Adaptation Alliance is a network of local government agencies located in the American Southwest and Intermountain West which explores challenges caused by a changing climate such as drought, wildfires, extreme precipitation events and heat stress. Salt Lake City is one of 14 cities participating across five states in the region.
Path to Positive. Path to Positive Utah is comprised of a diverse group of trusted community leaders from local government, public health, higher education, faith, non-profit and business. Path to Positive Leaders seek to understand, prepare for, and raise awareness about the risks and solutions of climate change.
Climate Change Education
Climate Communication Leadership Series
Salt Lake City collaborated with Path to Positive Utah and the Utah Climate Action Network to develop a first-of-its-kind training program to empower participants to become more skilled at engaging in climate change conversations by connecting with people and inspiring action. By leveraging emerging climate communications best practices and tailoring exercises for local relevance, the series helps build personal climate change narratives while learning alongside other professionals.
For further details, click here for the Climate Communications Program Guide.
Salt Lake Climate Leaders
The Salt Lake City Climate Leaders program engages municipal employees and develops their knowledge base and professional skills in order to create more effective climate change leaders.
The program engages employees who have expressed an interest in professional development and leadership skills related to sustainability. Participants attend interactive monthly meetings and build momentum for more effective and strategic action on climate change across all City departments.
Learn more here.
In 2016, SLCgreen launched Empower SLC, an in-house sustainability training platform available for all City employees. The twelve-month program covered a variety of sustainability-related topics, including energy use at home, water conservation, renewable energy, and food. Empower SLC was designed to motivate behavior change at the individual level in order to reduce pollution, save resources, and enhance Salt Lake City. See the recap.