The vote makes Lander the third city, following Laramie and Jackson, to adopt such targets in Wyoming.

LANDER, WY — On Tuesday, December 12, the Lander City Council voted 5-to-2 in favor of adopting greenhouse gas reduction targets for municipal operations. The targets are for a 20 percent reduction by 2030, 40 percent by 2040, and 80 percent by 2050 from a 2021 baseline. Lander is now the third city in Wyoming to adopt similar targets behind Laramie and Jackson.

“At the end of the world’s hottest year on record, it’s great to see communities like Lander stepping up and setting common-sense goals that reduce emissions, lower taxpayer utility cost, and keep Wyoming cities competitive for new funding opportunities,” said Ariel Greene, president of the Lander Climate Action Network. “These goals are the result of sustained civic participation over the course of several years and remind us that local government is responsive to citizen input.”

During Tuesday night’s meeting, the Lander City Council listened to both support and opposition to the resolution. After public comment, the council acknowledged the overwhelming public support by Lander citizens for the resolution. The City’s new emissions reduction goals are based off of the 2021 Municipal Energy and Environment Report that community groups raised money for to establish a baseline emissions inventory for the City. This report also examined the taxpayer utility cost for Lander and proposed ways to lower this cost through energy efficiency and investments in renewable energy.

“It’s been a long process, but in the end, our team has come to better understand the city’s existing priorities and their feedback into these emission reduction goals,” said Kara Colovich, a member of Lander’s Energy and Environment Task Force, a volunteer advisory committee to the City of Lander. 

The Task Force first presented the 2021 Municipal Report to the Lander City Council in November of 2022. By March the following year, the council prioritized energy efficiency in their buildings and municipal greenhouse gas reduction goals in their strategic plan.

The Lander Climate Action Network hopes that Lander’s new resolution will provide a model for other communities in Wyoming and throughout the rural West to show that pragmatic action to reduce emissions is possible. Compromise is possible. Finding consensus is possible. It starts with citizens engaging with local officials, listening to community needs, and showing up to put in the work.  

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