The Vail Town Council has unanimously adopted a resolution in support of the Climate Action Plan for Eagle County. Resolution No. 2 was approved unanimously by the council at its regular meeting on Jan. 17. The Climate Action Plan process is being facilitated by the sustainability and stewardship team from Walking Mountains Science Center. In addition to Vail, the plan has been adopted by Eagle County, Town of Avon and Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District.
Over 30 community members from towns, county services, and businesses participated in the creation of the plan. The process included meetings about education, policy and global targets and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A series of open houses helped engage community residents and resulted in feedback that helped shape the Climate Action Plan.
The plan outlines targets and milestones, including a goal to reduce countywide greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Strategies include expanding energy efficiency programs for buildings, reducing waste, developing new public transit options and increasing renewable power supplies.
“With federal climate policy and actions now in question, state and local climate action plans are even more important,” says Kim Langmaid, a Vail Town Council member and vice president of Walking Mountain Science Center. “The most direct solution to the climate problem is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by burning less fuel.”
Studies show rising concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from burning coal, natural gas and oil are warming and changing climates around the world. In Eagle County, winters are getting shorter and warmer, and summers are getting hotter. According to a 2015 study led by the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, there are now 23 fewer days of freezing temperatures than in the 1970s. Precipitation, river flows and water supplies are changing and less predictable as carbon dioxide emissions continue to grow.
Town of Vail Environmental Sustainability Manager Kristen Bertuglia said, “supporting the goals of this collaborative plan will raise the bar on Vail’s existing 20 percent by 2020 goal and is an important step towards greater leadership in climate action into the future."
For more information about the Climate Action Plan for Eagle County, visit walkingmountains.org/cap or contact Kristen Bertuglia, Town of Vail environmental sustainability manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.