FCSG Position Statement on Interim GHG Pollution Reduction Goal for the City of Fort Collins

The Fort Collins Sustainability Group (FCSG) began advocating for the City’s 2030 goal of 80% greenhouse gas (GHG) community pollution reductions compared to 2005 levels back in 2009.  That goal was approved by City Council as part of its Climate Action Plan Framework in 2015.

The FCSG remains highly supportive of this goal, which is one of the most ambitious in the world. We believe that in order to help achieve it, the City should adopt an interim community goal for 2025.  We recommend that goal be set at 50% GHG pollution reductions compared to 2005 levels.  This proposed goal is midway between the 20% goal established for 2020 and the 80% goal established for 2030.

We believe that setting an ambitious interim community goal is important for the following two reasons:

  1. Making steady progress toward reaching a future goal is more effective from a management perspective than postponing the action required to achieve that goal. Transitioning from the use of fossil fuels to generate our electricity, heat our homes and businesses, and meet our transportation needs will require significant and sustained public and private investments.  Establishing an interim goal is an important tool to help focus our community on making the changes and investments required to achieve the 2030 goal.
  2. The long atmospheric residence times of greenhouse gases means that early emissions reductions will have a much larger positive impact on reducing global warming than emissions reductions of the same magnitude that are made at a later time. The earlier we act to reduce GHG pollution, the better from a climate perspective.

While the investments required to meet the 2030 climate goal will be substantial, the economic, health, and environmental benefits for our community will be far greater, as the 2015 CAP Framework Report makes clear.  The FCSG therefore urges the Fort Collins City Council to pass a resolution establishing a 2025 GHG pollution reduction goal of 50% compared to 2005 levels.


Author: Kevin Cross

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