A Year in Review: Air Quality & Environment

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Nothing is more important than the air we breathe. We are at a point where inhalers nearly outnumber lunch boxes at our grade schools. We can change this.

We have made significant progress this year on the path to cleaner air in Salt Lake City.

In collaboration with the City Council, we adopted a first-ever resolution to transition our community to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2032 and to reduce carbon emissions citywide by 80 percent by 2040. This commitment makes Salt Lake City one of only a handful of cities worldwide to pledge an 80-percent reduction in community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

We teamed with Rocky Mountain Power this year on the Subscriber Solar program, agreeing to increase the amount of sustainable energy powering city government operations from 6 percent to 12 percent. Salt Lake City has more than 4,000 solar panels installed on government properties. We committed to a subscription of three megawatts of solar power, which adds up to roughly 9,000 solar panels worth of clean energy.

We will be adding new solar installations on multiple fire stations in the coming year.

Finally, after more than a year of negotiation, the city entered into a five-year franchise agreement with Rocky Mountain Power for government electricity needs that complements a Clean Energy Cooperation Statement we made earlier this year with the utility provider. The statement lays out how RMP and the city will work together to reach ambitious clean energy goals.

We will work every day to improve our air quality with steady steps to reduce carbon emissions, adopt alternative energy sources, encourage carpooling, support mass transit, and shut down vehicle engine idling. Everyone can do something, and every action counts —for ourselves and for future generations.

For more reading on our effort to address climate change and sustainability, please visit:

http://time.com/4282916/clean-power-plan/

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