Originally appeared in the Fort Collins Coloradoan on February 5, 2015
Fort Collins has officially recognized the importance of addressing global climate change since 1999. That’s when the City adopted its first community-wide climate action plan (CAP) to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fort Collins updated its CAP in 2008, and is currently working on a second update.
The City’s GHG emissions reduction goals have grown more aggressive with each new CAP. The goals being considered as part of the current version – 20% by 2020, 80% by 2030, and 100% by 2050 (net-zero emissions), all compared to 2005 levels – align well with what climate scientists say we must achieve in order to avoid the worst consequences of anthropogenic global warming. For more information on the relationship between GHG emissions and climate, watch a video developed by the Fort Collins Sustainability Group (FCSG) at http://tinyurl.com/carbon-climate.
In addition to providing an example of how other city, state, and national governments can act to avoid climate catastrophe, the latest Fort Collins CAP would reduce costs associated with fossil fuel use to city residents dramatically in the coming years. While city staff and consultants are still fine-tuning the numbers, net cumulative savings are estimated to be in the range of several hundred million dollars by 2030, and several billion dollars by 2050.
To learn more about City efforts to address climate change and to provide your comments, please visit http://www.fcgov.com/climateprotection/. City Council members will vote on the CAP update on March 3rd, and they need to hear from people before then on this issue.
J. Kevin Cross is part of the FCSG Steering Committee and lives in Fort Collins.