Local Resilience Project
The report of the Colorado Local Resilience Project, convened by the Colorado Climate Network and the Colorado Municipal League, was released in April 2015, and the Network is now working for implementation of the report's recommendations. The report is a call for action -- for more steps by local governments, the Colorado state government, and others to improve the resilience of Colorado communities to climate-change-related risks, including increases in wildfires, floods, and health-threatening heat waves. Seventy-eight representatives from 30 local governments and six related local organization developed the report, with contains six conclusions and 36 recommendations, all representing a consensus of the project participants. See more information here.
One of the report recommendations is that the state government prepare a comprehensive state-government-wide preparedness plan, not only to guide state government actions but also to provide a conceputal and programmatic framework for consistent, coordinated actions by local governments to address local and sub-state regional risks. After the Local Resilience Project report was released, the Colorado state government unveiled a new Colorado Climate Action plan, which includes a framework for preparedness actions, as explained further here.
State government climate policy actions. See our Network webpage on overall state government actions for information on important new state government actions, including a new Colorado Climate Action Plan and the beginning of state action to develop a plan to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. The decisions to take these two actions represent the most important and visible decisions by the administration of Governor John Hickenlooper to tackle climate change. However, the federal Clean Power Plan was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the state is still reassessing its next steps.
CDBG-DR Resilience Planning & Capacity Building Program: Round 2 Awards. The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, the nonprofit which administers the Colorado Climate Network, received, in large part because of the support of CCN members, a state government grant using federal disaster recovery funds for a Larimer-Boulder Resilience Project. This project includes climate extremes analyses addressing historic and projected rates of days with extreme heat and extreme precipitation, a synthesis report on climate change impacts on wildfires, and a workshop for local government officials and staff addressing climate change impacts in comprehensive plans, hazard mitigation plans, and other planning processes. See the results of the analyses for Larimer County and Boulder County. The workshop was held for local officials and staff in September 2016.
Fort Collins framework for emission reductions. As one example of action by a Network member on emission reductions, the City of Fort Collins City Council in March 2015 unanimously approved a framework of actions to meet ambitious goals to achieve community-wide reduction of heat-trapping emissions: 20% below 2005 levels by 2020, 80% below 2005 levels by 2030, and 100% below 2005 levels by 2050 (in other words, achieving community-wide carbon neutrality). By contrast, in the absence of local action, heat-trapping pollutants are projected to increase 16% by 2030 and 39% by 2050, above 2005 levels, according to the city's emissions inventory and forecast. The city is now working on implementation actions to meet these goals.
New state Climate Change Vulnerability Study. In February 2015, the Colorado Climate Change Vulnerability Study, the first-ever state-specific synthesis of existing information on how climate change may affect Colorado, was jointly released by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado State University. The study was commissioned by the Colorado Energy Office in accordance with state legislation enacted in 2013, House Bill 13-1293, requiring executive branch annual reports to the Colorado General Assembly on the development and periodic update of a climate action plan and collaboration with other entities regarding climate change preparedness studies.
The study is a summary of existing available data and research results from the peer-reviewed literature. See more details here.
City and County of Denver Climate Adaptation Plan. As an example of climate preparedness actions by Network members, the City and County of Denver in June 2014 relesed an adaptation plan that is an exemplary effort to meet its “long-term vision to be one of the most innovative and resilient cities in the face of climate change.” The plan identifies three primary risks -- increased temperature and heat island effect, increased frequency of extreme weather events, and reduced snowpack and earlier snowmelt -- and plan lays out short-, mid-, and long-term actions focused on six sectors: buildings and energy, health and human services, land use and transportation, urban natural resources, water consumption, and food and agriculture.
The mission of the Colorado Climate Network is to support efforts by local governments and allied organizations in Colorado to reduce heat-trapping gases and to adapt to climate change – whether those efforts are styled as climate, sustainability, energy, or adaptation programs. Launched by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and local community partners in May 2009, the Network helps its members develop and implement those programs, learn of funding and other resources, and interact more productively with other local and state programs in Colorado.
For more information about the Colorado Climate Network, click on the About link on the navigation bar on the top of this page.
For more information about the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, go to the RMCO website.