Vail to host Mountain Towns 2030 Climate Solutions Summit this October |

Vail to host Mountain Towns 2030 Climate Solutions Summit this October

Summit convenes governments, organizations and businesses from mountain communities work toward net zero goals

Mountain Towns 2030's third-annual Climate Solutions Summit will take place in Vail in October 2023.
Carolyn Paletta/Vail Daily archive

The town of Vail has been selected to host the third annual Climate Solutions Summit for mountain towns. The three-day summit will take place Wednesday, Oct. 18 through Friday, Oct. 20, and bring together municipalities from across the country working toward zero-carbon commitments in their communities.

“We are honored to follow Park City and Breckenridge in hosting the event,” said Kristen Bertuglia, Vail’s environmental sustainability director “As we move toward aggressively decarbonizing our transportation and snowmelt systems, and Holy Cross Energy is on track to hit over 90% renewable energy by the end of next year, the time is right to double down on leadership in this area.”

The Climate Solutions Summit is part of the Mountain Towns 2030 (MT2030) effort, which was launched in Park City in 2019 as the community made a commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The larger MT2030 organization was then formed to serve as a “climate accelerator for mountain and outdoor communities, building capacity and empowering them to achieve zero-carbon emissions” and take “action at scale,” according to its website.

Last year’s summit was hosted in Breckenridge and convened a large coalition of mountain government elected officials, staff and sustainability teams as well as ski resorts, businesses and community organizations. The summit featured a variety of panels, keynote speakers and workshops all centered on achieving climate action goals, including presentations from the town of Eagle and a panel with Vail Resorts and other ski resort companies in North America.

“This particular event is quite special in that it brings together a diverse range of people with so much in common,” Bertuglia said. “They all have the mountain spirit, a deep love and concern for the environment as well as an understanding of the urgency of our time. It is wonderful to be back in person to share resources, experiences and the journey to 100.”

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The event, Bertuglia added, is expected to draw around 500 guests to the town of Vail, bringing a “nice lift in energy and revenue during October.”

“We are excited to welcome many mountain town representatives to discuss how we work together to protect and enhance our natural environment,” she said.

The town has participated in the summit and in MT2030 since its inception in 2030.

“As a convener of mountain resort communities to address global climate change and the associated challenges we are facing and will continue to face, Mountain Towns 2030 provides a forum for collaboration and acceleration of Vail’s climate goals, 50% greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030 and 80% by 2050,” Bertuglia said.

“We agree now more than ever, as four-season tourist destinations, climate change presents immediate and overwhelming risks to our businesses, our livelihoods and our mountain culture.”

Balancing the environmental stewardship and climate action goals of the town with its tourist economy and the needs of its local community has been central to Vail’s recent destination stewardship planning process. This planning process and stakeholder engagement demonstrated that the community shared in the town’s commitments around climate action.

“We heard loud and clear that climate change, wildlife and environmental health are top of mind for the community,” Bertuglia said.

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