On November 22nd, a group of U.S. Mayors sent a letter to President-Elect Trump asking him to support their efforts to combat climate change. Specifically, they called upon him to:
1. Help cities leverage funds for the hundreds of billions of dollars in transit, energy, infrastructure and real estate development necessary to upgrade cities’ infrastructure for the 21st century.
2. Lead in expanding the renewable energy sources we need to achieve energy security, address climate change and spark a new manufacturing, energy and construction boom in America.
3. Help provide American businesses the certainty to invest through continued tax credits for electric vehicles, solar power, renewables and other clean technologies.
4. Shift to embrace the Paris Climate Agreement and make U.S. cities his partner in doing so.
Statement posted on November 17, 2016
In August of this year, City Manager Darin Atteberry announced that the City of Fort Collins would be rebranding its successful seventeen year old Climate Action Plan. He wrote that this was necessary because of concerns about costs and the “value laden or confusing ‘climate’ aspects of the name.”
The City’s 2015 Climate Action Plan Framework received national and international recognition as a serious effort to address perhaps the most significant environmental crisis humanity has ever faced. Not only can Fort Collins show other cities the way forward in addressing the climate crisis, it can do this while realizing enormous economic benefits by reducing and ultimately eliminating its reliance on fossil fuels. According to the City’s own analysis, the Climate Action Plan will save Fort Collins residents and businesses between $800 Million and $2.2 Billion more than the Plan will cost by 2040, and those savings will grow exponentially after that.
Published in the Boulder Daily Camera on September 10, 2016
In April of 2008, Governor Bill Ritter issued an Executive Order establishing Colorado’s first greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals to help head off disruptions to our society resulting from climate change. Those goals were to reduce GHG emissions 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, both compared to 2005 levels. The Executive Order also required the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to report periodically on the State’s GHG emissions inventory. The directive was to remain in force until modified or rescinded by a future Executive Order.
The first CDPHE report on GHG emissions was released in October 2014. It did not mention the goals established by Governor Ritter. Nearly a year later, Governor John Hickenlooper released the 2015 Colorado Climate Plan. That document also failed to mention the specific goals established by Governor Ritter, and established no new goals. Rather than modifying or rescinding the 2008 Executive Order establishing GHG emissions reduction goals for Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper appeared to be trying simply to sweep them under the rug.