OLYMPIC UTAH

Utah leaders face uphill battle on clean air before 2034 Olympic Games

Nov 29, 2023, 11:06 PM | Updated: 11:23 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake was announced as the preferred host by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday. Part of the agreement and plan requires the city to have clean air when the Games come in 2034.

That means that over the next decade, city and state leaders have work to do to mitigate pollution. They face an inconvenient truth: air quality problems triggered by inversion.

The inversion as seen from Salt Lake City on Nov. 29, 2023. (Jack Grimm, KSL TV)

The inversion as seen from Salt Lake City on Nov. 29, 2023. (Jack Grimm, KSL TV)

Fueled by a commitment to environmental sustainability, the city has set ambitious goals that include a shift to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, a 50-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and a comprehensive embrace of public transportation.

Kim Frost, a representative of Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR), acknowledges the positive strides made in recent years.

“Overall, our air quality has significantly improved over the last 10 years,” she said. “Which is why it’s exciting to think about the Olympics in 10 years. We have 10 more years to improve even more.”

However, the road to cleaner air is paved with challenges, and the biggest contributor remains the same — cars on the road.

“We know that the majority of our pollution comes from our cars and trucks on the road,” Frost said.

Recognizing this, Frost emphasizes the opportunity for residents to embody the spirit of the Games and opt for public transit.

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Utah leaders face uphill battle on clean air before 2034 Olympic Games