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Despite an increase in population since 2005, carbon emissions have largely declined in Fort Collins, and residents here divert nearly 65 percent of their trash from the landfill.
So what’s next? The public is invited to a series of public meetings starting December 3 to help the City define its energy future for the next 20 to 30 years with an update to the Climate Action Plan – a roadmap of strategies to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions and increase its resiliency to climate change.
The first public open house on the Climate Action Plan update will be 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, December 3 at the Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Drive. A brief presentation will begin at 6:15 p.m. with Scott Denning, a professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, and Lucinda Smith, director of Environmental Services at the City. Students from CSU’s Center for Public Deliberation will also be in attendance and assisting with future public meetings on the plan. Participants will be provided with information on a suite of tactics currently being explored and asked for feedback, questions and suggestions.
As part of the 2015 update to the Climate Action Plan, the City is looking at new and existing community-wide strategies in four areas: Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Energy Supply, Waste Reduction, and Transportation.
The City has been a leader in climate protection for almost two decades, starting with the first greenhouse gas reduction goal and plan in 1999. Emissions have been below 2005 baseline levels while the City’s population and economy – as measured by Sales and Use Tax revenue – grew. Currently, the Climate Action Plan calls for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
City Council directed staff to update the plan, noting that Fort Collins is a nationally recognized leader in finding ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and in adapting to climate change, and that new opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have emerged, including advancements in energy technologies such as smart grid, vehicle electrification opportunities and changes in the price of energy solutions. Council requested an ad hoc committee be formed to update the Climate Action Plan to meet the following objectives:
· 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020
· 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2030
· 100 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 (Carbon neutral)
Stay up-to-date on the Climate Action Plan update at fcgov.com/climateprotection.