Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was in Washington D.C. today presenting the final recommendations of the White House Climate Change Task Force.
Last November, Mayor Becker and 25 other State, Local and Tribal leaders from across the country were picked to join the task force. Over the past year, Becker says the group compared notes on how the warming climate is impacting their respective communities.
“So whether that’s rising sea levels on the coasts, or increasing intensity of storms,” Becker says. “Or whether it’s what we are facing directly in the Salt Lake area and that’s how it’s effecting our water supply…how it’s affecting our air quality.”
The group recommends federal agencies modernize programs and policies to consider climate change and provide useful information to communities.
On Monday, the Obama administration unveiled to task force members a new online U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit which Becker says provides climate information and steps communities can take to be more resilient.
“So it’s data that both the public can use and scientists can use as we understand better and better all the time what the effects are locally,” Becker says. “But then it also will help us drive our own policies.”
Becker says Salt Lake City is considering changing the local infrastructure to provide adequate water supply in light of a shrinking snow-pack. He’s also focused on reducing the city’s carbon footprint.