Missoula County is committed to addressing climate change and building resiliency in our government operations and throughout our communities. According to the 2017 Montana Climate Assessment, average temperatures in Montana are expected to rise by 4.5-6.0°F by mid-century, resulting in a wide variety of impacts including reduced snowpack, earlier spring snowmelt, and more frequent and intense droughts and wildfires. Missoula County addressed the threat of climate change in the 2016 Growth Policy, which includes the following goal:
“Missoula County seeks to reduce its contribution to climate change while promoting resiliency and adapting to its impact on the natural environment and communities.” (Goal 4, p. 2-8)
Recently, Missoula County has taken concrete steps to address this goal:
- Completing a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Sustainability Assessment of county operations.
- Making it easier for county residents and businesses to install solar energy systems.
- Investing in Missoula Electric Cooperative’s community solar projects to offset 5% of the County’s energy use from MEC.
- Developing partnerships with other similar efforts such as the City’s Energy and Climate Action office and Climate Smart Missoula.
- Hiring the county’s first Energy Conservation and Sustainability Coordinator and partnering with Energy Corps to provide staffing support for these and future programs.