- The city of Denver, Colorado, has released a plan that aims to reduce the municipality's greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, the Denver Business Journal reports.
- The city's strategy for meeting its climate goals, outlined in its "Climate Action Plan 2015" report, includes making buildings more energy efficient, incorporating more renewables, promoting alternative modes of transportation like biking, walking, and the use of public transit, and reducing overall demand for new materials and goods to cut down on emissions from waste.
- The new plan builds on a similar report introduced in 2007, which aimed to cut 10% of the city's greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels by 2012. In the new report, current Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said that "we have a responsibility to act" on climate change.
This isn't Denver's first call for climate action, but it may be its most forceful yet. When the city released its first climate action plan in 2007, the report said that "[g]lobal climate change will likely be the defining issue of the 21st Century."
Earlier this year, Denver signed the Mayors’ National Climate Action Agenda in early 2015, calling for binding federal emission reductions and a global emission reductions agreement. The agenda also called for standardized, verified, and regularly reported municipal and community-wide greenhouse gas emissions inventories with 2020 and 2050 emissions-reduction targets. Finally, it called for individualized climate action plans with specific strategies for mitigation and adaptation.
A November poll by Quinnipiac University found 60% of Colorado voters are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned" about climate change. Only 15% are “not so concerned” and 23% are “not concerned at all.” The poll of Colorado voters also found that 52% say the U.S. should be doing more to address climate change while 18% say the U.S. is doing enough and 25% say it is doing too much.
Other cities across the U.S. have been similarly working to mitigate their impacts on climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first U.S. municipality to get to 100% renewables was Greensburg, Kansas, in 2010. Greensburg has since been joined by Aspen, Colorado, Burlington, Vermont, and Kodiak Island, Alaska.
In California, the city of San Diego is expected to approve a proposed Climate Action Plan that would move the city to 100% renewables by 2035 on December 15, matching mandates in place in other California cities such as San Francisco and San Jose, and also Las Vegas, Nevada.