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Leaders pledged Wednesday to transition Salt Lake City all the way to renewable energy by 2032.

By doing so, Mayor Jackie Biskupski said the city would become a national and global leader in combating climate change. The move also would improve air quality along the Wasatch Front.

A second goal of the "Climate Positive" initiative is to reduce the production of greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2040.

Biskupski said there will be a reporting mechanism to track progress.

"This is the most rapid track by any community in the country or in the world," Biskupski said. "We have too much at stake to accept the status quo. ... As the capital city, it is our responsibility to lead."

City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall, a longtime clean-air advocate, also championed the effort. It rests upon a franchise agreement with Rocky Mountain Power. The utility will be prepared by 2032 to power the city without energy from its coal-fired plants.

"This resolution is realistic," Mendenhall said. "This franchise agreement is the best opportunity we have to clean the air we breathe — no question."

Rocky Mountain Power already had agreed to provide city government with 3 megawatts of its 20-megawatt solar farm now under construction in Millard County, according to utility spokeswoman Arlene Bentley. In the past decade, she said, Rocky Mountain Power has invested $1 billion in wind farms.

In 2016, 30 percent of the utility's total power output came from wind, solar and hydroelectric. Bentley said that most likely will increase in coming years. Coal remains the power company's main source of energy.

Vicki Bennett, the city's director of sustainability, said cities are leading the way on renewable energy.

Although 54 percent of the world's population lives in urban areas, cities produce 70 percent of carbon emissions.

In the past cities have worked toward incremental change, Bennett said. Now, however, there is a shift toward what she called "transformational change" in seeking cleaner power sources to combat global warming.

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