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. 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 and the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO), click on our About Us page.
Among the Network's services to its members are two priorities that local programs find particularly valuable:
State Policies: The Network Steering Committee establishes a State Policies Agenda to focus efforts on which state policy actions are of most signficance to the success of local programs and Network members. RMCO tracks and reports on actions by the state legislature, the Hickenlooper Administration, and state agencies related to those policies. Click on the CCN Programs page for more information, including the Legislative Wrap-up of the 2013 Session of the General Assembly.
- Annual conference and periodic workshops: Covering a wide range of climate-related issues, these conferences enable Network members to examine topics, learn new skills, and connect with colleagues, subject matter experts, and agency policy leaders at the local, state, and national levels. See our Programs webpages.
Register by December 9 for the
Fourth Annual Conference of the Colorado Climate Network
Local Emissions Reductions
Retooling for the Future
Thursday, December 12, 2013, 8:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.Colorado communities can point with pride to the progress they have made in reducing heat-trapping pollutants. Yet recent emissions inventories updates are telling us that the state and most local governments are not yet on emission reduction trajectories that will meet short and long term goals. The Colorado Climate Network’s fourth annual conference will focus on new and emerging strategies that enable local governments to rethink and reframe emissions reduction approaches. Conference sessions will include:
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO
- State and local actions that are helping set the backdrop for future emissions reductions - new state rules to restrict methane emissions from oil and gas operations, plus what state and local emissions inventory updates are telling us.
- Breakout workshops on local programs that are breaking new ground in emissions reductions.
- Choosing midcourse corrections through effective program evaluation.
- Examining new and emerging approaches – net-zero communities, carbon neutrality, and more.
- Next steps forward for local governments to collaborate with each other and the state to promote successful local actions.
Who should come: The conference is open to all local government climate and energy program managers, other staff, elected officials, and managers, plus representatives of businesses, non-profits, academic institutions, and state and federal agencies that assist local governments with climate and energy programs.
The conference is free to officials and employees of local governments and other organizations that are members of the Colorado Climate Network. The fee for non-members is $50. Buffet lunch available for $15 additional fee; see conference registration site for details. Networking breaks are generously provided courtesy of the Museum of Nature and Science.
Colorado Municipal League
Department of Environmental Health, City and County of Denver
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
For additional sponsorship opportunities and general conference information, contact Tom Easley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-887-4626.
See conference agenda here.
Note conference agenda revisions are underway. Watch for updates!
Check out the latest grants listed on our grants page. New postings include Federal Transit Authority transportation system resiliency grants, AmeriCorps grants, U.S. Forest Service community forest and open space grants, EPA indoor air and climate change research grants, Wells Fargo/National Fish and Wildlife Foundation environmental solutions for communties grants, and Georgetown Climate Center in-kind legal and policy support for adaptation projects.
New webinars and other events are also listed on our calendar.
- Net Zero Cities conference, October 23-24, 2013, Fort Collins. The City of Fort Collins was a title sponsor of this sold-out conference, which featured opportunities to connect with leaders from across industries to discuss best practices to advance communities towards net zero.
As the world tackles the interrelated challenges of climate change, water scarcity, air quality and human health, cities are taking the lead in finding solutions. Topics included: net zero energy, net zero water, transportation innovations and smart cities. Supporting the event were the Cities of Boulder and Loveland, the Colorado Clean Tech Network and BizWest Media. Representatives from 13 international clean tech clusters attended. Watch the conference website for posting of presentations.
Powering Up Colorado: Economic Strength with Energy Efficiency, November 13, 2013, Carbondale, CO Sponsored by Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER) and others, this conference featured national, state, and regional leaders discussing how your communities, the region, and entire state can fully tap the potential of energy efficiency and clean energy for a strong economy. Presentations now available on the CLEER website.
- New Webcasts:
Western Adaptation Alliance Bi-Monthly Webinar: Boulder County “Saws & Slaws” Program, December 11 th, 2013, 8:30 am MST. This presentation focuses on the community-driven "Saws & Slaws" Program in the mountains of Boulder County – a partnership between grassroots community leaders and public officials to build community capacity for wildfire mitigation and management through education and outreach activities. The name of the effort illustrates this community-centered (and fun!) approach to building local resilience. “Saws & Slaws” is shorthand for chainsaws and coleslaws—two important tools for building community resilience—the former is used for managing woody debris that contributes to the spread of wildfire while the latter is a key element of building the necessary social capital to do this work in communities. To learn more, please visit the "Saws & Slaws" blog: http://sawsandslaws.com/. To register, go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7735173507589974273.
EPA Webcasts on Climate and Clean Energy Communications, December 4, 11, and 18, 2013. This series will provide information on communications strategies and methods that state and local governments can use to ensure the ongoing success of climate and clean energy programs. The structure of the three webcasts will parallel the general phases of program development and implementation: attracting stakeholder support and participation, sustaining change, and gaining momentum from program successes. Participants will learn how to design communications strategies to engage and empower stakeholders, use communications methods to instigate and sustain behavior change and foster individual and community solutions, and effectively communicate their programs’ successes and resulting benefits to diverse audiences.
Webcast 1: Gaining Support and Attracting Participation through Communication, December 4, 2013, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM MST. Webcast registration.
Webcast 2: The Role of Communication in Ensuring Sustained Behavior Change, December 11, 2013, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM MST. w to assess behavior change. Webcast registration.
Webcast 3: Using Effective Communication to Showcase Program Successes, December 18, 2013, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM MST. Webcast registration
DOE Webcast: Show Me the Money! Raising Investment Funds for Clean Energy Programs & Working with Financial Institutions, December 5, 2013; 12:00-1:30 p.m. MST. This webinar will provide an introduction for small local governments, economic development authorities, and non-profit organizations that wish to seek financing from private institutions to launch clean energy programs, including a review of different types of financing and lenders and a step-by-step process for approaching lenders and additional resources for taking these steps. Speakers will include Peter Meyer of the E.P. Systems Group/Center for Climate Strategies, and Glenn Barnes and Jennifer Weiss of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina/Center for Climate Strategies. Register here.
EPA Webcast: Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR, December 10, 1:00-2:15 PM MST. Learn how public sector organizations are improving energy efficiency with innovative solutions to financial barriers. Attendees will learn about financing projects in the public and private sectors, the basics of performance contracting, and how EPA’s tools and resources can help you make the decision to improve your facilities now or later. Register.
EPA Webcast: ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems, December 11, 2013 – 12:00-1:30 PM MST. Attendees will learn how to use EPA tools and resources to help meet requirements for green building rating systems such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Green Globes system, and others. Register.
- Additional Reports and Resources
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) report ranks U.S. cities' efforts to save energy, September 16, 2013. Ranking 11th among 34 large cities nationwide was the City and County of Denver, the only Colorado city rated. The 2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard is the first to rank cities exclusively on energy efficiency efforts, focusing on five key areas: buildings; transportation; energy and water utility efforts; local government operations; and community-wide initiatives. It includes recommendations and strategies for all cities to lower energy use. ACEEE also launched a new interactive infographic accompanying the report that highlights each city's best practices and scores.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Georgetown University announce the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a competition to encourage innovative, replicable, and scalable approaches to reducing energy use in communities across the U.S. Beginning in February 2014, municipalities will be eligible to compete for the prize by reducing their energy use. Participating communities must develop a long-term energy efficiency plan and demonstrate initial effectiveness and sustainability during a two-year period. Participating communities will benefit from access to financial and technical resources and the winning community will receive $5 million provided by private sponsors, which will help to support their continuing community-based energy efficiency efforts. Interested communities are encouraged to submit a non-binding letter of intent as soon as possible.
EPA releases Smart Location Database version 2.0. EPA’s Smart Growth Program intends for the database to be a consistent nationwide GIS data resource for measuring location efficiency. It may be appropriate for use in local and regional planning studies when local data is unavailable. The database includes over 90 variables characterizing the built environment, transit service, destination accessibility, employment, and demographics at the census block group scale. Users can download data for their selected region, view data online in an interactive map, or access data through a variety of web services.
Drivers Can Compare Gasoline and Electric Fuel Prices with eGallon. DOE has launched eGallon—a way for consumers to compare the costs of fueling electric vehicles versus driving on gasoline. The current national average eGallon price is about $1.14, meaning that a typical electric vehicle could travel as far on $1.14 worth of electricity as a similar vehicle could travel on a gallon of gasoline. On the site, consumers can see the latest eGallon price for their state and compare it to the price of gasoline. Over time, consumers will notice that the eGallon price will be far more stable and predictable than gasoline prices. That’s because the eGallon price depends on electricity prices, which historically are very stable; gasoline prices depend on the unstable global oil market.
DOE Launches New Database on Residential and Commercial Building Energy Performance, June 17, 2013. The Energy Department today launched a new Buildings Performance Database, the largest free, publicly available database of residential and commercial building energy performance information. Currently, commercial and residential buildings account for approximately 70% of the electricity consumption in the nation. This database will allow users to access energy performance data and perform statistical analyses on more than 60,000 commercial and residential buildings across the country. The data can also be used to compare performance trends among similar buildings, identify and prioritize cost-saving energy efficiency improvements, and assess the range of likely savings from these improvements.
New EPA Report: How We Build Cities and Towns Impacts Public Health and the Environment. As part of the fourth anniversary of the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities, EPA released its most comprehensive review to date on how the built environment – the way we build our cities and towns – directly affects our environment and public health. The publication, Our Built and Natural Environments: A Technical Review of the Interactions among Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality, provides evidence that certain kinds of land use and transportation strategies can reduce the environmental and human health impacts of development.
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.
DOE Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program Technical 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.