FCSG Statement on Progress Toward Meeting Fort Collins’ CAP Goals

Posted on July 22, 2019

Fort Collins City councilmembers will discuss progress made toward meeting the community’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals during their work session on Tuesday, July 23rd. While the final numbers for 2018 aren’t yet available, here is what we do know:

1. Trends in the electric and natural gas sectors – which together accounted for over 70% of reported community GHG emissions in 2017 – suggest that it will likely be difficult for Fort Collins to meet its 2020 emission reduction goal.

2. If the City were to count GHG emissions from one large industrial emitter (Broadcom), our community’s progress toward reducing its emissions would be much less impressive than the official 2018 report will suggest.

Climate Crisis Demands Both Mitigation and Adaptation

Published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan on June 18, 2019

Larimer County Commissioner John Kefalas is to be commended for recognizing that we are in a climate crisis (“Climate crisis demands planning and resiliency”, May 30th, 2019). As Kefalas points out, Colorado’s average temperature has increased by 2 degrees F in the past 30 years, and is projected to increase another 2.5 to 5 degrees F by 2050. In this context, it is welcome news that Larimer County’s proposed 20-year Comprehensive Plan incorporates actions to increase community resilience.

However, Kefalas is not correct to say that today’s extreme weather is the “new normal.” If we continue on our business as usual path, the temperature will keep rising even after 2050. In fact, under business as usual, Colorado’s average temperature will increase by a whopping 10 degrees F by the end of this century, and today's extreme weather may look downright tame in comparison.

Colorado Should Set Bold Climate Change Goals

Published in the Colorado Independent on April 2, 2019

The Colorado General Assembly soon will consider establishing additional climate goals for our state. The bill, HB19-1261, would set goals of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a 90% emissions reduction by 2050, both compared to 2005 levels. The bill also reaffirms the goal set by Gov. John Hickenlooper before he left office: a 26% emissions reduction by 2025.

While the new goals might sound ambitious, the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) is calling for the 2030 goal to be strengthened – instead of 50% reduction by 2030, the CCLC seeks a 63% reduction by then. This higher benchmark aligns with the best available science and would offer a better-than-even chance of limiting the average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degree Fahrenheit) across the globe, if extended worldwide.

Reflections on the Notion of Sustainability

Since its inception in 2005, the Fort Collins Sustainability Group (FCSG) has focused on local climate policy. More specifically, we have advocated for City initiatives that would both reduce our community’s greenhouse gas emissions and help our community adapt to climate change. For a detailed history of the work in which we have been engaged, see “The FCSG Story” here: http://fcsg.fccan.org/ObjectivesandGoals.

We subscribe to a notion of sustainability aligned with that set forth in the 1987 Brundtland Report, which states that “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” There are numerous examples of past societies that have functioned on a sustainable basis, including many of those in the Americas prior to European contact. However, we recognize that present generations are currently close to crossing at least eight planetary boundaries in addition to catastrophic climate change that would endanger future generations (1). Those other boundaries are:

Syndicate content