Missoula City Council passes plan to be carbon neutral by 2025

January 28, 2013
Keila Szpaller

Missoula is officially on its way to carbon neutrality.

With great aplomb from supporters, the Missoula City Council on Monday unanimously adopted a Conservation and Climate Action Plan.

The plan sets a goal for the city to become carbon neutral by 2025 to save money, reduce energy use and cut emissions.

“I think this is a watershed moment for the city,” said Councilman Alex Taft.

“It’s a nice culmination of a lot of efforts, and we’ll be doing our part regardless of what happens elsewhere,” said Mayor John Engen, who convened the task force to do the work. “And we’ll be saving money and serving our citizens while we’re at it.”

The plan sets interim goals, and it also lays out strategies in fleet and facilities, internal policies and renewable energy. It drew much praise Monday for city leaders who are pushing forward on the formidable task.

“I think that it’s commendable that our city is willing to show leadership in this area,” said Jack Tuholske. “We desperately need our elected officials to start paving the way at the local level.”

Tuholske, who identified himself as both a professor of law who teaches climate change and also as a grandfather, said the matter is not partisan. He said national agencies are calling climate change one of the most significant threats to national security.

“It’s an issue about our nation’s survival and our grandchildren’s future,” Tuholske said.

Claudia Brown of Transition Missoula was effusive over the document’s adoption: “It’s very exciting. It’s wonderful. It is so important. It’s just essential.“

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