Snowmass Village adopts ‘ambitious’ emissions reduction goals

Town will aim for net zero by 2050

Snowmass Village will aim to reduce its carbon emissions by 62.5% by 2030 based on a 2009 baseline and will shoot to reach net zero emissions by 2050 after the Town Council unanimously decided to adopt the new targets for the community at a Nov. 15 meeting.

“This is a significant and ambitious goal,” Assistant Town Manager Travis Elliott said at the meeting.

The Snowmass Village Environmental Advisory Board recommended that the town adopt the goals when it presented to the council back in September. The numbers stem from a “science-based target” specific to the Snowmass Village that was calculated by ICLEI (pronounced ik-ley), a sustainability-minded international coalition of local governments that is leading a global “Race to Zero” initiative that involves dozens of communities.

Achieving those goals will depend in part on other community agencies like utility groups also committing to their own environmental protection efforts, Mayor Bill Madsen noted. (Holy Cross Energy, for instance, has already committed to use 100% renewable energy sources by 2030.)

But it will also take cooperation from the entire community, town staff and electeds said.

“It’s more than that,” Councilman Tom Fridsteain said. “It’s how we carry out our lives, our behavior, and so how do we get from these great, altruistic goals — how do we really make it happen in the next eight years and two months?”

Elliott said he didn’t have one clear answer. Town transportation supervisor Sam Guarino, who is a staff liaison with the Environmental Advisory board, added that there won’t be a “silver bullet.” But committing to the goal is a start, Elliott said.

“I think it starts here in this room with the Town Council’s leadership and that will guide … not only the Environmental Advisory Board but also the community,” Elliott said.