Posted on April 10, 2022
The Fort Collins Sustainability Group (FCSG) has reviewed the “Our Climate Future” and “Sustainable Funding Plan” work session items that City Council will address on Tuesday, 4/12. We are pleased to see that staff has highlighted the importance of electrifying building space heating, building water heating, and transit in order to achieve our climate goals. We note that the FCSG emphasized the importance of these items in our recent recommendations geared toward improving the 2022 building code ordinance.
Staff has identified these three areas as requiring significant investment by the City over the coming years: a total of $6.1 Million annually. Staff also notes that “funding pathways” for these items have not yet been identified.
The FCSG is concerned that staff is not proposing a work session on funding mechanisms until the third or fourth quarter of this year, meaning that the next biennial budget is unlikely to incorporate additional funding sources for the Climate Action Plan and other Council and community priorities. This approach is unlikely to set Fort Collins up for success in meeting its 2030 climate goal.
If our community is to make steady progress toward our 2030 climate goal, greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution should be 38% below the 2005 baseline in 2023 and 44% below the baseline in 2024, the two years covered in the upcoming biennial budget. The FCSG will be reaching out to each member of council in the near future to explain why we think making this steady progress is of critical importance.
In the meantime, we recommend that Council provide the following direction to staff during the work session on April 12th:
- Move the work session on sustainable funding mechanisms up to late Q2 or early Q3.
- Develop budget offers that will support 38% GHG pollution reductions by 2023 and 44% GHG pollution reductions by 2024, compared to 2005 levels, in conjunction with anticipated external and influenced factors.
- Toward this end, staff should include estimates of the annual GHG pollution reduction impact of any budget offer designed to support our climate goals, as has been done in the past.
Fort Collins successfully achieved both its 2012 and 2020 GHG pollution reduction goals. It’s important to maintain that momentum as we work toward the 2030 goal, for the health and economic well-being of city residents, and to do our part to respond to the global climate emergency.