Letter to the editor: Mountain communities can set the example on climate change | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Mountain communities can set the example on climate change

Jessie Burley
Frisco mayor pro tem

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its annual report, emphasizing that climate action is too slow and too small. It is a damning indictment of current climate leadership, which has placed the planet in peril and at the precipice of irreversible impacts. It’s also a call to action for a renewed sense of urgency to introduce new climate leaders, forward-thinking ideas and partnerships that accelerate action.

Mountain communities play a vital role in the $689 billion U.S. outdoor recreation economy, and they are places that feed our souls and fuel our passions. Unfortunately, climate change presents a material threat to all of this.

With communities impacted by climate change in ways that we never would have imagined just a decade ago, many local governments have made climate planning a priority. Building climate resiliency in our communities is forcing local government and business leaders, community activists and nonprofits to decarbonize their local economies quicker.

Transformative solutions are underway. Park City created a pathway to 100% renewable electricity that 14 communities have joined. Vail, Aspen and Eagle are working with Holy Cross Energy to deliver 100% renewable energy by 2030. Breckenridge is building 100% all-electric net-zero housing units aiming to maintain 47% of the workforce in the community. Frisco is working toward pay-as-you-throw and universal recycling to reduce emissions from waste.

We need more bold leadership like this. Working together, we can share the best ideas among us and build capacity in our communities. We can address the impacts of today and build a movement that will lead us all to a sustainable future where all can thrive.

The Mountain Towns 2030 Climate Solutions Summit will take place in Breckenridge from Sept. 20-22.

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