What we do
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. 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, which is administered by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, click on our about us page.
Wrap-up of 2013 Legislative Session Now Posted
The Colorado General Assembly just concluded in early May passed significant legislation regarding an increase in the Renewable Energy Standard for rural electric cooperatives from 10 percent to 20 percent, a requirement that the governor appoint a climate change coordinator with climate action planning responsibilities, authorization for local governments to spend Highway Users Tax Fund allocations on public transit, an increase in landfill tipping fees to fund local government recycling grants, and much more. See the Session Wrap-up.
Fourth Network Workshop: "State and Local Emissions Inventories - Better Tools for Better Decisions"
April 30, 2013, 1 - 4 p.m., Denver Department of Environmental Health, 200 W. 14th Ave., Denver
Regularly updated inventories of heat-trapping pollution are essential for charting progress towards emission-reduction goals of state and local governments and for guiding new policies. This workshop brought together leading local and state government inventory specialists to focus on how to improve and make better use of state and local inventories to shape better decisions. The workshop featured an unique opportunity to see the preliminary results of a new state inventory and to discuss it with the staff of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The workshop also offered first-ever presentations on and exploration of the range of inventory methodologies used by Colorado local governments and discussions about moving toward more consistency between state and local inventories and among local inventories. Other topics included how to get the most out of inventories to communicate progress and shape policies.
See workshop agenda, presentations, and local government inventories here.
The Network's Third Annual Conference: "Climate Change Vulnerabilities and Preparedness - Actionable Intelligence for Local Governments"
December 11, 2012, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., City of Aurora Municipal Building
Community leaders understand that even as they work to reduce heat-trappings emissions they must also prepare for the challenges and threats of a changing climate. This conference was designed to help attendees learn about Colorado’s unique vulnerabilities to climate disruption and what can be done to create communities more resilient to those threats. Highlighting the conference was the keynote address by Gov. John Hickenlooper, what RMCO believes to be his first speech as governor focused on climate change, which he called the “single greatest risk the globe faces.”The Colorado Climate Network is grateful to the City of Aurora and its staff for hosting the conference, and to its prime sponsors - Avago Technologies, Stratus Consulting, and the Town of Vail, and its sponsors - the Colorado Municipal League, CSU Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes, Denver Department of Environmental Health, and Populus, LLC. See complete conference presentations, session synopses, and post-conference survey here.
Network Associate MembersThe Network welcomes as Associate Members organizations that wish to be affiliated with the Network, that wish to get such benefits as receiving the same communications that go to Network members and free or reduced admissions to Network conferences and other events, and that are approved by the Steering Committee. Western Resource Advocates is the Network's first Associate Member. For more information about associate memberships
see our about us page.
- Check out the latest grants listed on our grants page. New postings include HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants, U.S. DOT TIGER Grants, U.S. Forest Service National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost-Share Grants, and Funders' Network for Smart Growth & Livable Communities' Local Sustainability Matching Funds
- New webinars and other events are also listed on our calendar.
- New webcasts:
EPA webcast: Preparing for Extreme Weather Events Workshop Planner for the Water Sector / Adaptation Strategies Guide, May 22, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (MDT). Sponsored by EPA’s Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative, this joint webcast will highlight the Preparing for Extreme Weather Events Workshop Planner for the Water Sector and the Adaptation Strategies Guide, and how a utility can use them both when developing adaptation plans. It will also highlight utility experiences with the tools. Webcast Registration
EPA webcast: On-site Renewables: Lessons Learned from Idea to Implementation, May 29, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (MDT). This webcast, sponsored by EPA’s Green Power Partnership, will feature two EPA Green Power Partners, SC Johnson and Coca-Cola Refreshments, that have invested in on-site projects powered by landfill gas and wind, respectively, and highlight the companies’ experiences from initial investigation of on-site systems to the results obtained once the projects were brought online. Webcast Registration
- Events and Conferences:
Colorado Association for Recycling - 2013 Summit for Recycling, May 19-21, 2013, Keystone Resort and Conference Center. The Colorado Association for Recycling’s annual recycling Summit is a dynamic conference and exhibition that brings together the state's recycling professionals and individuals dedicated to the principles of recycling. This year's theme is “keys to unlocking the next 30%.” Register here.
Senator Mark Udall to host a series of community energy roundtables, April 18, 2013. The goals are to connect with Colorado energy industry officials, local leaders, and the public to hear how Colorado's balanced approach to energy development and innovation is a model for the country. The senator's staff is looking for suggestions (can’t miss projects, key stakeholders to meet with, cutting edge organizations, important issues, etc.). Contact Brandon Rattiner at
- Sharing Success: Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar Permitting. This Interstate Renewable Energy Council report serves as both a prompt for discussing permitting challenges, and as a source of inspiration for communities looking for realistic and effective ways to improve solar permitting while ensuring safe solar installations.
- Boulder County is one of four local governments among the 23 recipients of EPA’s 2013 Climate Leadership Awards, March 1, 2013. The Climate Leadership Awards recognize and incentivize exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. Boulder's comprehensive climate disruption mitigation and preparedness policies are cited. Learn about the current application and eligibility criteria for the next round of awards.
- City of Boulder completes major municipalization of energy supply feasibility study, February 27, 2013. The city during the past several years has been giving thorough consideration to replacing Xcel Energy with a municipal electricity utility in order to exert far more control over its energy future. At a study session, the City Council heard the bottom line results of a major feasibility analysis: A city-owned and –operated electric utility would be able to offer lower rates than Xcel, reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases by more than 50 percent from current levels, and get 54 percent or more of its electricity from renewable sources. Boulder report: Municipalization would slash greenhouse gas emissions, Boulder Daily Camera, February 21, 2013.
- EPA announces Denver and Fort Collins are among 43 communities across the country that received technical assistance awards under its Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, February 7, 2013. The program provides tools to help communities achieve their development goals, improve the quality of life, and become more economically and environmentally sustainable.
EPA staff and national experts will conduct one- to two-day workshops that focus on a specific sustainability tool the community chooses.
- From Governing Magazine - "New clean energy program won't cost cities
a dime," March 19, 2013. Sacramento and other cities have found a way around
the federally imposed bottleneck on PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs by bringing in a private partner to handle the financing. Read more here.
- Southwest Energy Efficiency Project releases “Transportation Fuels for Colorado’s Future: Life-cycle Energy Use and Environmental Impacts of Electric, Compressed Natural Gas and Gasoline Vehicles,” February 18, 2013. The report looks at lifecycle energy consumption, heat-trapping gas, NOx and VOC emissions from the three vehicle fuels and finds that due to policies that are transitioning Colorado’s energy supply to renewables and natural gas, electricity will be the cleanest and most efficient fuel by far for automobiles in 2020.
- American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) releases two tools. Energy Efficiency and Pollution Control Calculator, February 14, 2013. To help comply with federal regulations emissions of multiple pollutants from stationary sources such as power plants and industrial facilities, ACEEE provides an easy-to-use calculator that lets users get an idea of the costs and air quality benefits of some basic energy efficiency policies and allows them to compare those options with more piecemeal approaches to reducing air pollution. In the coming months, ACEEE will provide on its evolving website additional materials, information, and support to folks working on these issues.
Frontiers of Energy Efficiency: Next Generation Programs Reach for High Energy Savings, January 9, 2013. This report examines 22 program types and concepts to identify trends in their approaches to capturing cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities available to electricity and natural gas customers. A common thread of next generation programs is high performance. For commercial and residential buildings, achieving high performance focuses on system efficiencies. In industry, the focus is on optimization of processes.
- Free print versions of EPA's Climate Change Indicators in the United
States 2012 now available, February 20, 2013. The Climate Change Indicators
in the United States, 2012 report presents a set of 26 indicators tracking observed
signs of climate change in the United States. EPA has worked in partnership with
other agencies, organizations, and individuals to collect and communicate useful
data about five categories of climate indicators: greenhouse gases, weather and
climate, oceans, snow and ice, and society and ecosystems. Contact
email@example.com for print versions.
- King County, Washington, releases Strategic Climate Action Plan 2012,
December, 2012. King County, long acknowledged as a leading local government
in climate action, releases a combined strategic plan for both reduction of
heat-trapping gases and for climate preparedness. See Climate Adaptation
Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) webpage here.
- DOE Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program
Assistance Program (TAP) resources:
Financing Energy Upgrades for K-12 School Districts. DOE and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released this guide to tapping into funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvement in schools.
Commercial PACE Materials. In March, DOE published a set of resources to support the design and implementation of commercial property-assessed clean energy (PACE) programs, including an updated Guide to Commercial PACE Financing with a sample application package, and new templates for marketing commercial PACE programs.
Guide to Community Energy Strategic Planning. DOE's Guide to Community Energy Strategic Planning outlines a step-by-step process for creating a robust strategic energy plan for local governments that can help save money, create local jobs, and improve national security.