Park City has been making changes for the community to be net-zero by 2032 for more than a year. On Tuesday, Park City officials joined forces with the Climate Reality Project; I AM PRO SNOW – and committed to the 100 percent renewable electricity pledge.
Mayor Jack Thomas said in order for the municipality to reach net-zero by 2022 they’ve been looking at their buildings and infrastructure including water supply and use.
“You’re going to be seeing much more in the way of photovoltaic systems," Thomas said. "Perhaps even farms to facilitate the electricity requirements for our structures and municipality and that goal, I think, easily achieved by 2022.”
But Thomas said it won’t be the power of Park City alone. It’s the collective of many communities coming together he said who will create change.
“To build a critical mass of people that begin to transform the way we live and the way we see our future," Thomas said. "It’s important because it’s a fundamental responsibility, I believe, toward those families and generations that follow us. We’ve got to stating living our lives in a way that is responsible to that future.”
Park City council member Tim Henney said, “The more the merrier.”
“It’s a critical and essential initiative and we have to do something," Henney said. "We have to take action and the more leverage the more pressure the more our narrative gets out into the state, the nation and the world, the better - for all of us, not just Park City.”
I AM PRO SNOW program manager, Talya Tavor, said even though Park City already had their net-zero goals in place – there are huge benefits for joining forces.
“We’re seeing shrinking ski seasons, we’re seeing less snow on our mountains and that’s not only affecting our ability to recreate – it’s affecting our livelihoods," Tavor said. "And so by joining our campaign, you’re now not doing this in isolation, you’re not doing this in a silo – you’re doing this as part of a movement.”
I AM PRO SNOW ambassador McKenna Peterson is a pro snow skier and said for anyone who still argues there’s no climate change – all you have to do is remember.
“Go spend some time in the mountains," Peterson said. "Rack your brain to remember what it was like as a kid – and how different it is now.”
Park City environmental sustainability manager, Luke Cartin, said the facts are that the city operations are quickly approaching being more than 50 percent renewable energy already and it just keeps getting better.
“You know in the next few weeks people are going to be ride the bus more," Cartin said. "You’re going to see improved transit. Starting next summer the express route from old town to Kimball Junction and back will actually be a fully electric bus line– it will be, you know, the fastest way to get into town. There’s a lot of great options people can do – starting today – that aren’t huge high cost. You know you don’t need to solve the problem tomorrow – you just need to start going down the path.”
Other mountain communities and countries who are members of the campaign include Denver, Aspen, Europe and South America.