Rebranding Climate Action Plan

 Statement posted on February 6, 2017 

The City of Fort Collins has been dedicated to climate protection since 1997, when our first climate committee developed a plan that was passed by City Council in 1999. That plan was called “City of Fort Collins Local Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Subsequent plans have been named the “Climate Action Plan” (CAP). Since 1999, our plans have been updated twice to reflect recent climate science. 

Other cities, counties, states, and provinces have adopted their own plans. Below are a few, and their titles. 

Austin, TX
Community Climate Plan 

Berkeley, CA
Climate Action Plan 

Boston, MA
Climate Action Plan 

Boulder, CO
Climate Commitment Plan 

Burlington, VT
Climate Action Plan 

Caledon, CA
Community Climate Change Action Plan 

Chicago, IL
Climate Action Plan 

Hayward, CA
Climate Action Plan 

Los Angeles, CA
Climate Action Plan 

Milpitas, CA
Climate Action Plan and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy 

Manila, Philippines
Climate Change Action Plan 

Oakland, CA
Climate Action Plan 

Portland, OR
Climate Action Plan 

Santa Ana, CA
Climate Action Plan 

Seattle, WA
Climate Action Plan 

Cook County, IL
Climate Change & Public Health Action Plan 

King County, WA
Strategic Climate Action Plan 

San Diego County Water Authority, CA
Climate Action Plan 

New England Governors/E. Canadian Premiers
Climate Change Action Plan 2001 

Province of Manitoba, Canada
Climate Change Action Plan 

Province of Ontario, Canada
Climate Change Action Plan 

State of California
Climate Strategy 

State of Colorado
Colorado Climate Action Plan 

State of New York
Climate Action Plan 

State of Pennsylvania
Climate Change Action Plan 

As can be seen from the above list, nearly every governmental entity has named their plan the “Climate Action Plan” or similar. It is clear the term has passed into the vernacular. Any name without “climate” would obfuscate and weaken our plan’s intent, its subject, or both. Current City “re-branding” has promoted names such as “The Road to 2020” and “Fortify Fort Collins.” Unfortunately, both terms are extremely vague and could mean anything. They give little sense of what our climate program is, or what it means to accomplish. 

The City needs to clarify, through a transparent, public process, precisely what it is trying to accomplish through re-branding. If no legitimate need for a re-branding can be clearly identified by city and community stakeholders, the name “Climate Action Plan” should be retained. If it is determined that re-branding will help broaden citizen engagement and support for the CAP’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, the Fort Collins Sustainability Group is happy to participate in such a process. 

Conclusion: 

We support messaging that communicates the many economic and health benefits of the City’s 2015 Climate Action Plan. However, for the sake of clarity and to keep the discussion grounded in science, the City should not consider any name for its plan that does not contain the word “climate.” 

Author: Rick Casey

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