“I’m the most depressing guy in the room,” said Brian McInerney, local climate expert and hydrologist from the National Weather Service. Utah is on a mission to repeat 2002 and host the 2030 Olympics. While Park City is a leader on many fronts including the environment, time is running out on climate change.
Utah’s Olympic Exploratory Committee has been discussing concerns for a bid including environmental issues for a 2030 Olympic bid. McInerney provided a brief to the committee and while the outlook is better for Utah than many of the international contenders, it is still bleak.
To address climate change, Park City formally set the goal in 2016 to reduce city operations and cut its carbon footprint to zero by 2022 and community-wide by 2032, ranking it as one of the most ambitious climate change goals in the country. “Th e city and county understand. It’s the state and national level that need to get aft er it,” said McInerney.
To reach the ambitious goal of carbon neutral, Park City has implemented various measures to mitigate its internal carbon footprint. Through energy and water efficiency measures, employee engagement, the electrifi cation of the city’s free public transit system, installing solar panels atop city buildings and working with the local utility to bring online new renewables, Park City will save hundreds of thousands of dollars and prevent countless tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted.
“As of 2017, we are offsetting approximately half of our electricity consumption with Renewable Energy Certiﬁcates through our utility,” said Celia Peterson, Environmental Sustainability Project Manager for Park City. “Our goal is to bring new renewables online to power 100% of our municipal operations by 2022 and by 2032 for the whole community so that the electricity that we use doesn’t contribute to climate change.”
Park City is taking a proactive, strategic approach to climate change. Together, Summit County, its residents, businesses, visitors and partners can take collective action to chart a positive and resilient future.