The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Salt Lake City Makes Historic Commitment to 100% Renewables by 2032
Salt Lake City announced Wednesday its commitment to transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2032. The city also plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2040.
Mayor Jackie Biskupski and city council members signed a joint resolution Tuesday creating the Climate Positive 2040 commitment. The resolution acknowledges the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and is driven by the burning of fossil fuels. City officials also stated in the resolution that changes in water systems and extreme-weather events are affecting Salt Lake City now and will be exacerbated in the future, according to North America Wind Power.
"This is the most ambitious step ever taken by Salt Lake City to address the threat of climate change," Biskupski said in a press release. "This commitment places the city among leading communities worldwide that acknowledge our responsibility to rapidly reduce emissions and forge a new path forward that protects our economies, societies and overall human well-being."
Climate Positive 2040 laid out four main pathways to achieve Salt Lake City's historic goal:
- Clean Electricity Supply: The City recently partnered with Summit County and Park City to fund a renewable energy study that will reveal pathways forward, including towards 100 percent clean electricity by 2032. This study is underway and will offer results in late 2016. New clean energy options for homeowners and businesses, such as Rocky Mountain Power's Subscriber Solar program, will also be key.
- Reduce Energy Waste: Energy efficiency and conservation, both for our buildings and in how we travel, are essential to achieving sizable reductions in carbon pollution. The City continues to partner with large property owners and managers through Project Skyline and by exploring new options to advance energy savings in commercial properties.
- Active Transportation and Clean Vehicles: Salt Lake City has been active by originally launching initiatives such as Clear the Air Challenge and the Hive Pass which offers discounted transit passes to residents. The City has also invested in substantial bike infrastructure and programs and installed public electric vehicle charging infrastructure. New EV charging stations are planned for 12 total locations in late 2016. These efforts will continue to grow and evolve to match the ambitions of an 80 percent reduction in carbon pollution.
- Community Partnership: Partnership is key to succeeding on climate change and it's you, as community members, that will help drive adoption of solutions. The newly formed Utah Climate Action Network is one way the City is leading alongside other organizations committed to sharing and accelerating the adoption of climate solutions.
"The goals in our resolution may seem aggressive," City Council Member Erin Mendenhall said. "To that I say, they are realistic if we want to actually change the air we breathe. This has been a long time Council priority we have supported for years through budget priorities, ordinances and resolutions, helping lay the foundation for the City to take the leap."
In January, during her State of the City address, Biskupski made a commitment for powering its government operations with 100 percent renewable energy. She also committed to major carbon reductions citywide.
But this new announcement takes the city's commitment one step further.
"We can tackle this challenge and deliver clean energy solutions that will simultaneously improve air quality, protect public health and deliver local jobs," Biskupski said. "Leading on climate change today is an obligation we all share with each other and to future generations."
The Democratic National Convention Platform, released last month, also made a call for 100 percent renewable energy sources. The goal year determined in the platform was 2050.
Salt Lake City officials aren't the only ones taking climate action. In March, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed into law legislation aimed at eradicating the use of coal for electricity generation entirely within two decades.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
You've probably heard the buzz around collagen supplements and your skin by now. But is the hype really that promising? After all, research has pointed to both the benefits and downsides of collagen supplements — and for many beauty-conscious folk, collagen isn't vegan.
By Marlene Cimons
Neil Pederson's introduction to tree rings came from a "sweet and kindly" college instructor, who nevertheless was "one of the most boring professors I'd ever experienced," Pederson said. "I swore tree rings off then and there." But they kept coming back to haunt him.
By Daisy Brickhill
Each morning, men living in fishing communities along Ghana's coastline push off in search of the day's catch. But when the boats come back to shore, it's the women who take over.
By Sam Nickerson
Links between excess sugar in your diet and disease have been well-documented, but new research by Harvard's School of Public Health might make you even more wary of that next soda: it could increase your risk of an early death.
The study, published this week in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that drinking one or two sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) each day — like sodas or sports drinks — increases risk of an early death by 14 percent.
Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
Environmental exposure to pesticides, both before birth and during the first year of life, has been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to the largest epidemiological study to date on the connection.
The study, published Wednesday in BMJ, found that pregnant women who lived within 2,000 meters (approximately 1.2 miles) of a highly-sprayed agricultural area in California had children who were 10 to 16 percent more likely to develop autism and 30 percent more likely to develop severe autism that impacted their intellectual ability. If the children were exposed to pesticides during their first year of life, the risk they would develop autism went up to 50 percent.