Statement updated on March 4, 2015
On March 3, the Fort Collins City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution adopting aggressive new greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. That resolution also endorses the 2015 Climate Action Plan Framework, which provides a road map for achieving those goals. The Fort Collins Sustainability Group (FCSG) has long supported the new goals, and applauds this decision by City Council.
The 2015 Climate Action Plan (CAP) Framework was developed by members of City Staff, a Citizen Advisory Committee, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Brendle Group, and the Platte River Power Authority. Collectively, the people involved developed a list of strategies capable of reducing community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 32% by 2020, 73% by 2030, and 86% by 2050, all with respect to the 2005 baseline.
These emissions reductions align well with the previously adopted short term goal and the new longer term goals that the City of Fort Collins began contemplating in April of 2014, i.e. 20% GHG emissions reductions by 2020, 80% emissions reductions by 2030, and carbon neutrality (100% emissions reductions) by 2050. The new longer term goals were officially adopted by the City on March 3. It should be possible to close the relatively small gaps between the emissions reductions that would result from implementing the strategies in the 2015 CAP Framework and the goals for 2030 and 2050 through new or strengthened strategies developed in the coming years.
The cumulative financial benefits to the community by the early 2030s and beyond of adopting and implementing the 2015 CAP Framework are substantial. According to staff, those benefits will be in the range of $800 Million – $2.2 Billion by 2040, and $2.5 Billion to $6.2 Billion by 2050. These financial benefits result directly from using less fossil fuel. Other benefits that have not been incorporated into those cost savings numbers include improved public health due to decreased air pollution, and the new jobs, increased income, and increased tax revenue resulting from the economic activity required to implement the 2015 CAP Framework.
The final and perhaps most significant benefit resulting from the 2015 CAP Framework is that its successful implementation will provide an example to other cities and government entities of how to make deep reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions and thereby mitigate the crisis of global climate change. For that reason, as well as all of the others, the FCSG strongly supported adoption the 2015 CAP Framework, and looks forward to the process of detailed planning and implementation of the policies and programs needed to achieve those goals.