Colorado Climate Network Programs

Local Resilience Project

The Colorado Climate Network and the Colorado Municipal League are convening a statewide Local Resilience Project to help improve the resilience of Colorado local governments and local resources to possible climate change impacts, including increases in wildfires, floods, and health-threatening heat waves. The project will bring together representatives of local governments in Colorado, other governmental entities active at the local level (such as local health departments and school districts), and related organizations to identify ways local governments and others can work together in preparing for and addressing climate change impacts, and what they need from the state and federal governments and other sources to do so. The project was announced on June 26 through a news release featuring statements by Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat, Colorado Municipal League Executive Director Sam Mamet, and Stephen Saunders, the president of the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO), which administers the Colorado Climate Network.

As of July 25, representatives of the City and County of Denver, City of Colorado Springs, Boulder County, Pueblo County, the City of Lakewood, the City of Fort Collins, the City of Arvada, the City of Boulder, the City of Longmont, the City and County of Broomfield, Eagle County, La Plata County, the City of Golden, Pitkin County, the City of Durango, the City of Steamboat Springs, the City of Aspen, the Town of Carbondale, the Town of Estes Park, the Town of Vail, the Town of Breckenridge, the Town of Frisco, the Town of Nederland, the Town of Lyons, the Town of Dillon, the Southwest Colorado Council of Governments, Denver Health, and the Boulder Valley School District have agreed to participate in the project.

The outcome of the first phase of the Project will be a report, expected by December 2014 or January 2015, identifying those possible actions by local governments and others and what they need to make them possible. Project participants will include elected officials, managers, and program staff of:

  • Local governments (Network members and others);
  • Other governmental agencies with local responsibilities, including local health departments and school districts;
  • and if nominated by a local government or governmental agency, other organizations that work with local governments on matters related to climate change resilience.

Each participating individual will be a member of one of five work groups, each of which will focus on a particular subject: (1) cross-cutting issues, (2) wildfire response and recovery, (3) infrastructure, (4) natural resources and outdoor recreation, and (5) public health.

More information on the project is available here and information for potential participants is here. Contact Tom Easley (easley@rockymountainclimate.org), the director of programs, for more information.

Legislative Updates

Among the Network priorities adopted by the Steering Committee is tracking state legislature actions, Hickenlooper Administration goals and initiatives, and state agency policies relevant to local programs, and informing Network members about all of these. RMCO’s legislative lobbyist already tracks and informs Network members of legislation of potential interest to them. Listed below are the legislative updates that summarize important information and update the status of such legislation and policies:

Wrap-up of 2014 Session of the Colorado General Assembly

Wrap-up of 2013 Session of the Colorado General Assembly

Wrap-up of 2012 Session of the Colorado General Assembly

Wrap-up of 2011 Session of the Colorado General Assembly

The Networks's Fourth Annual Conference: "Local Emissions Reductions - Retooling for the Future"

December 12, 2013, 8:45 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO

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 fourth annual conference focused on new and emerging strategies that enable local governments to rethink and reframe emissions reduction approaches. Conference sessions included:

  • 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.

The Colorado Climate Network is grateful to those without whose assistance the conference would not have been possible. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science generously provided conference facilities and refreshments. Conference sponsors included the Colorado Municipal League, the Department of Environmental Health, City and County of Denver, and Stratus Consulting. Brendle Group was a conference contributor.

See complete agenda, conference proceedings, and presentations here.

Third Annual CCN Conference - December 11, 2012

"Climate Change Vulnerabilities and Preparedness - Actionable Intelligence for Local
Governments"
brought together community leaders who 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.

Second Annual CCN Conference - December 11, 2011

"Communicating the case for local climate action: A how-to conference for local officials, staff, and others" was rated a success by the 70 attendees from local governments, non-profits, university programs, businesses, and state and federal agencies. The Network's second annual conference, was held on December 8, 2011 at the Aurora Municipal Building. The conference focused exclusively on climate communications, to equip conference attendees with information and techniques to help them more effectively communicate with others to build support for undertaking and implementing local climate programs.

See agenda and conference presentations

Inaugural CCN Conference - December 15-16, 2010

More than 90 local government officials and staff as well as leaders from other government, business, education, and nonprofit fields attended the first-ever Colorado Climate Network Conference, making the conference a success. The conference served as a major effort to strengthen and carry out the goals of the Network, which launched in 2009 to support local climate programs. Featuring presentations, workshops, and group discussions, the conference helped arm participants with the tools needed to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities facing climate, sustainability, and clean energy programs in Colorado.

See agenda and conference presentations.

Fourth Network Workshop - April 30, 2013

"State and Local Emissions Inventories - Better Tools for Better Decisions." 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
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.

Third Network Workshop - October 12, 2012

"Waste reduction - the forgotten solution to climate change" brought together attendees from
Network members as well as non-members with resource experts to discuss
waste reduction strategies
that work and that make significant contributions to reductions of heat-trapping gases. Considered
were what local governments can do and what the state government should do to promote reduce
waste-stream-related emissions.

See agenda and conference presentations.

Second CCN Members-Only Workshop - March 9, 2012

"The Network’s role on state policy" workshop featured open discussions with key policy leaders from the Governor's Policy Office, the Governor's Energy Office, other state agencies, regional planning agencies, non-profits, and local programs. The goal was to identify and prioritize climate protection actions at the state level (including legislation, regulations, policies, technical support, funding, and partnerships) that the network can advance, especially in areas that cannot be fully addressed locally.

See agenda and workshop notes

First CCN Members-Only Workshop - October 14, 2011

"Demand side versus supply side: Which basket to put your eggs in?" was the featured topic of this first, model workshop of what will be a series of Network-member-only workshops. An open discusson led by program leaders from Fort Collins and Vail addressed a key question facing all local climate programs: how much to focus on demand-side programs (energy efficiency) and how much on supply-side programs (clean energy sources). There was additional discussion of the City of Boulder's decision to ask citizens to vote on creating a new municipal utility.

See additional information.

 

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