Silverthorne is final town in Summit County to pass Climate Action Plan |

Silverthorne is final town in Summit County to pass Climate Action Plan

SILVERTHORNE — At Silverthorne’s first September town council meeting, council members were presented with the Summit Community Climate Action Plan. The plan was developed by the Summit Climate Action Collaborative in partnership with Lotus Engineering and Sustainability. 

The plan outlines four key priorities:

  • Renewable electricity: Achieve 100% renewable electricity countywide by 2035.
  • Transportation: Reduce the use of single-occupancy vehicles, transition to electricity in transportation vehicles, and increase public transportation, biking and walking
  • Energy efficiency: Amend building and land-use codes to improve efficiency
  • Solar energy: Implement Solarize Summit County to streamline solar permitting process.

With these priorities set, the plan sets overall goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Summit County by 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. These percentages are set based on emissions data from 2005.

The plan already had been adopted by Breckenridge, Frisco and Dillon, making Silverthorne the final town to get on board with the initiatives. All council members except Robert Kieber were fully supportive of the plan. 

During the town’s work session, Kieber cited the potential consequences of transitioning to electric-powered vehicles, which he said could be poor roads and bridges due to the lack of tax revenue generated from gasoline. At the regular town meeting, he pointed out that the Climate Action Plan is nonbinding and discussed the ice age in reference to current changes in climate. 

Council member Kevin McDonald gave a testimony of his belief in climate science, saying he has done extensive research as a former climate change denier and has since changed his opinion. Kieber said he would still support the plan because it is what his constituents want. 

When it came time to vote, the Climate Action Plan passed unanimously. The plan is now adopted by all four towns in Summit County.

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