Non-partisan group tackles climate change in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY - The words "climate change" can heat up a conversation, but a group of public and private organizations are working together to find common ground.

The newly formed Utah Climate Action Network gathered Wednesday to lay out their vision for confronting what they see as a global problem.

"The convening organizations were Salt Lake City, Park City, Salt Lake County Health Department, University of Utah and Alta Ski area," said Tyler Poulson, SLC Sustainability Program Manager.

That list now includes 20 public and private sector partnerships. The variety of voices will address the realities of climate change.

"In Salt Lake City more specifically, when we look at the data, we do see a pronounced change in temperatures in terms of warming decade over decade," Poulson said.

It's a trend that advocates say hurts the state environmentally and economically.

"Those are also filtering out to impacts on our water supply, public health, air quality, a whole range of other things," Poulson said.

The group will evaluate these factors and come up with a concrete plan to move forward.

"Climate solutions in the form of clean energy, active transportation, and stewardship of our water resources will solve a lot more than our dilemma with rising temperatures," said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

While some Utahns are already doing their part by installing solar panels or driving eco-friendly vehicles, the group says there's room at the table to include different points of view.

"Utah is really reframing the climate change conversation in a way that’s going to resonate with people here in this state in terms of Utah values, in terms of conservative values," Poulson said.

Click here for more info on the Utah Climate Action Network.

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