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Becker Wraps up Climate Talks in Paris

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker wraps up his time in Paris talking about climate change on Wednesday.

Vicki Bennett is Salt Lake City’s Director of Sustainability. She says Becker’s time at the international climate talks only reaffirmed the mayor’s belief that making a difference starts at a local level.

“If you look at the United States, 80% of the people live in cities,” she says. “And 90% of the GDP is in cities. And the changes that are made at the city level are what are going to really make a difference when we’re looking at reducing our overall carbon emissions.”

Bennett says Salt Lake City has taken the lead on moving toward sustainable energy use, and she’s calling on the rest of the state of Utah to follow suit.

“Because as much as we try and reduce the amount of energy we use in all of our homes and businesses, which is really important, what we’re gonna have to do is ensure that that energy is not from carbon-based fuels, especially in the next 20-25 years,” she says.

Becker has signed on to the Compact of Mayors, which tracks the emissions of individual cities with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% in the next ten years. Over 400 cities across the globe have joined.

Becker finished up his time at the climate talks in Paris on Wednesday.

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