Filmmaker James Redford recently joined Utah Clean Energy and Path to Positive Utah leaders in Salt Lake City for a lively discussion of clean energy and climate change challenges and solutions. Redford’s new documentary film, “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution” looks at how communities across the U.S. are dealing with the transition to clean, renewable sources of energy. About a dozen different Path to Positive Utah leaders delved into effective and compelling ways to connect with Utahns about the impacts of climate change on our communities and local climate solutions.
Following ecoAmerica’s “15 Steps to Create Effective Climate Communications” guide, our conversation focused on the broad and growing support for clean energy and energy efficiency in Utah communities.
The falling cost of renewables
Leaders suggested that we can and should do more to highlight the falling costs of local solar and wind resources as part of discussions about climate change. In addition to falling costs, clean energy represents thousands of local jobs.
Climate solutions are air quality solutions
Air quality is another area of common interest and concern for Utahns of all backgrounds. Northern Utah faces significant winter and growing summer air pollution challenge that is both a public health issue and a potential barrier to recruiting businesses and their employees to the state. Rising temperatures contributed to last summer’s significant ozone problem when ozone pollution exceeded federal air quality standards 22 times. Leaders stressed that solutions to address the risks of air quality, especially increasing adoption of electric vehicles and access to public transportation, also help to address the risks of climate change. We will be doing more at Path to Positive Utah to demonstrate that lasting progress on air quality and climate change go together.
We are grateful to Mr. Redford for joining us and for committing to being a Path to Positive Utah leader! Path to Positive Utah will continue to have opportunities throughout 2018 to bring together leaders from all sectors of Utah life, including business, local government, recreation industries, higher education, and faith communities, to have positive and informative discussions about local climate solutions.