In an unprecedented move in the conservative state of Utah, more than 100 of the state's most prominent leaders came together virtually on Wednesday to sign the inaugural Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact - a compassionate, pragmatic, first-of-its kind directive encouraging broad support and productive conversations and action on climate and clean air solutions.
"We gathered some of Utah's most influential leaders of varied political stripes and from different industries and affiliations. It's truly an impressive collection of talent and influence," said Christian Gardner, President and CEO of The Gardner Company and one of the leaders of the Climate Compact Steering Committee. "COVID-19 taught us the hard way how fast our world can change. We can still make a difference when it comes to climate change - but the next 10 years are critical."
The inaugural signers of the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact commit their support to climate and clean air solutions and the milestones laid out in The Utah Roadmap: Positive Solutions on Climate and Air Quality. Among the signatories are iconic Utah leaders representing government, faith, business, healthcare interests and bipartisan representation from Utah's congressional delegation (click here for a full list of signatories).
"I'm so proud that we here in Utah are moving beyond partisanship to lead the way for climate and clean air solutions," said Sarah Wright, Founder and Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy. "We have the tools at our fingertips to be at the forefront of the clean energy economy. It is only a matter of choosing to seize these opportunities and then leading the way for other states to join us."
Indeed, the first-of-its-kind Compact encourages pioneering leadership on climate and clean air solutions, consistent with "The Utah Way" of collaboration and pragmatism. The Compact emphasizes a non-partisan approach to address a wide range of climate and clean air challenges ranging from our health to the economy to re-energizing rural communities.
"Climate change and air quality represent both urgent challenges and opportunities for our health, families and the economy," said Scott Anderson, President and CEO of Zions Bank and one of the leaders of the Climate Compact Steering Committee. "We're coming together to make climate and air quality leadership another Utah success story."
The launch of the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact kicked-off with a presentation by Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, on the intersections between climate, COVID and climate solutions as "the next great global industry." The finale of the event was a video montage featuring signatories of the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact, now found at www.climateandcleanaircompact.
About the Utah Climate & Clean Air Compact. Established Wednesday at a virtual signing based in Salt Lake City, the Utah Climate & Clean Air Compact represents leaders from business, government, faith and civic institutions. Together, they pledge to serve as responsible stewards - forging pragmatic, collaborative solutions - and encouraging broad support and productive dialogue on climate and clean air solutions. The Climate and Clean Air Compact is headed up by a Steering Committee comprised of Scott Anderson (Zions Bank), Christian Gardner (Gardner Co.), Pat Jones (Utah Women's Leadership Institute), Greg Miller (Larry H. Miller Group), Tom Love (Love Communications) and Sarah Wright (Utah Clean Energy). For more information, visit www.climateandcleanaircompact.
About the Utah Roadmap. At the request of the Utah Legislature, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute - with the assistance of a 37-person Technical Advisory Committee - prepared this Utah Roadmap to assist with legislative policy making to improve air quality and address causes and impacts of a changing climate. The Utah Roadmap identifies areas of opportunity to further reduce air emissions and ensure a healthy, productive and prosperous future for all Utahns. For more information, visit https://gardner.utah.edu/wp-co