Western Resource Advocates today commented on a new “Utah Roadmap” report prepared for the Utah Legislature by the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, which makes important recommendations for improving air quality and reducing carbon emissions that drive climate change.
The report was prepared at the Legislature’s request and outlines seven strategies for reducing harmful emissions in the state. The report aims to assist with legislative policy making to improve air quality and address causes and impacts of a changing climate. At the top of the list, the institute recommends the state, through resolution or statute this year, adopt goals to reduce carbon emissions statewide 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, 50 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050.
“The report’s recommended targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change,” said Sophie Hayes, Western Resource Advocates’ senior staff attorney in Salt Lake City. “These ambitious goals must be addressed now, in order to achieve them in the years ahead. By adopting policies and pursuing strategies to reduce these emissions that drive climate change, Utah will be able to protect its residents’ health, environment, and economy, now and for a more prosperous future.”
The report’s other recommendations include fostering increased electric vehicle use, creating a state climate research laboratory, and providing economic transition assistance to rural communities dependent on fossil fuel industries. The institute will accept public feedback on the report through Jan. 27.