October 13, 2020
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, County Council Form New Era of Commitment to Climate and Air Quality Solutions
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Salt Lake County Mayor asked members of the County Council to join her in approving a new proclamation Tuesday that will set Salt Lake County as a leader in environmental solutions and sustainability in Utah for decades to come.
The Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact, announced October 7 and fully supported by Salt Lake County, lays out sustainability principles for signatories to achieve. The compact is meant to complement the Kem Gardner Policy Institute’s Utah Road Map: Positive Solutions on Climate and Air Quality, which outlines goals of adopting emissions-reduction goals, creating an air quality and changing climate solutions laboratory, re-energizing Utah through sustainability efforts to spur technological innovation, and a commitment to collaborate across Utah.
Leading by example, in November 2019, Salt Lake County signed on to the Community Renewable Energy Act. The act creates a pathway for participating communities to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030. The county has continued to play a lead role in organizing implementation of the act with other communities.
In February 2020, the first-ever County emissions inventory was created by the new Office of Environmental Services instituted under Mayor Wilson’s leadership to better track and understand the County’s own emission footprint and improve operations – spurring ideas like expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure to purchasing hybrid or electric passenger cars.
“Achieving emission reductions is a key goal in Salt Lake County and innovative projects like these will lead and become the standard for us and our neighbors,” Mayor Jenny Wilson said. “Tackling our air quality problem also tackles our climate problem, and we believe the compact serves as a steppingstone leading to firmer goals and achievement of emission reductions for the County.”
Developing and implementing climate solutions includes necessary steps of sustainability and equity. Salt Lake County has partnered with the University of Utah to study the effects of indoor air quality in at-risk households, as well as create health education campaigns and safe housing programs for residents that ensure their health and well-being remains the ultimate goal.
“We are driven to further raising the bar so our communities can be as healthy, safe, and sustainable as possible,” Mayor Wilson said.