The new National Climate Assessment shows we have to quickly shift from fossil fuels to clean energy to mitigate the effect of climate change, which currently plays out in extreme storms, longer wildfire seasons, drought and unpredictable growing seasons.
Nationally, the assessment finds the damage wrought by climate change could wipe out 10 percent of gross domestic product by the end of the century; that’s more than twice the loss from the Great Recession.
In Utah, every segment of the economy is affected by climate change, from our ski resorts to our farmlands. About 90 percent of Utah’s electricity still comes from fossil fuels, but a recent study from Utah-based Energy Strategies found that Rocky Mountain Power can save up to $1.25 billion by replacing its coal plants in Utah with new clean energy, like wind and solar, while providing good, family-supporting jobs across the state.
It’s important for us to press our leaders to divest in coal and support clean energy alternatives and innovations. The future of our economy, environment and health depends on it.
Patricia Becnel, Salt Lake City