Statement updated on October 25, 2022
The Fort Collins Sustainability Group (FCSG) appreciates the fact that City Council will be considering an interim greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal on October 25th. We support the goal of 50% emissions reductions compared to 2005 levels by 2026.
We have pointed out previously that a goal of 56% emissions reductions by 2026 would represent straight line progress from the successfully achieved 2020 goal to our community’s 2030 goal. However, we understand that staff has thus far identified a path that would get us to “only” 43% emissions reductions by 2026. We believe that setting a stretch goal of 50% by 2026 would help motivate staff – in combination with community members – to look for additional steps that could be taken to keep Fort Collins on track to its 2030 goal.
Three areas that staff and community members could investigate are:
- Connecting Fort Collins residents to funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce carbon emissions from buildings and travel;
- Working with the Platte River Power Authority to increase the amount of renewable electricity available to Fort Collins residents by 2026; and
- Revise the 2022 Energy Code to strengthen the sections related to electrification of buildings and electric vehicle chargers. Three councilmembers supported doing this after the Code was adopted in April of this year.
Other areas of focus may well emerge from the “Our Climate Future” engagement process.
Fort Collins has one of the most ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals in the world. It is important that our community continue to lead the way toward deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to encourage others to follow. The 50% goal for 2030 widely touted at the state and national levels would only provide a one in two chance of keeping global temperatures below the critical 1.5°C threshold if the entire world were to achieve it. The 50% goal for 2030 does not account for the current and historically high greenhouse gas emissions by the United States and this region, nor does it account for the fact that many carbon-intensive consumer goods are imported into the United States from other countries. The Fort Collins goal of 80% greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030 is a much more appropriate goal, and we should do everything possible to show others that it can be achieved.
We thank City Council and staff for their leadership to date on this issue, and urge council to continue the City’s historical leadership by approving a 50% greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for 2026.
Update: On October 25th, City Council approved the interim greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal resolution by a vote of 5-1.