Programs of the Colorado Climate Network, page 2

Fourth Annual Conference

Local Emission Reductions - Retooling for the Future

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


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

  • 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 government reductions of heat-trapping pollutants.

Conference Sponsors:

The Colorado Climate Network thanks those without whose support the conference would not have been possible:

  • The Denver Museum of Nature and Science donated the use of its facilities and refreshments for the breaks.
  • Sponsors: Colorado Municipal League, Denver Department of Environmental Health, and Stratus Consulting.
  • Conference contributor: Brendle Group.

Conference Agenda and Presentations:

See conference agenda here.

See conference proceedings here.

Welcomes and conference introduction

  • Stephen Saunders, president, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, welcomed attendees.
  • Scott Sampson, vice president of research & collections, Denver Museum of Nature
    and Science, welcomed attendees and delivered remarks on the importance of communicating the risks of climate disruption in ways that engage the public and decision-makers and on how the Museum, in its role as a regional cultural institution, structures its programs and public outreach to highlight the perils of climate change and the need to act to reduce their impacts. He also stressed how important it is to get people out into the natural world so that there is a deeper understanding of how important it is to protect its values. with comments on cultural institutions and climate change.
  • Tom Easley, director of programs, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, gave a conference overview.

Plenary session #1: State and local government actions setting the backdrop for
future emissions reductions

  • Colorado Air Quality Control Division proposal for rules on control of ozone precursors and—for the first time—methane from oil and gas facilities.
    Overview: The content of the proposed rules, their estimated impacts in reducing emissions, the rule-making process, and how local governments can best participate in the process.
    Presenter: Garry Kaufman, deputy director, Air Pollution Control Division, Colorado
    Department of Public Health and Environment. Powerpoint presentation
  • State emissions inventory update.
    Overview: The state's 2013 update of the inventory of heat-trapping emissions and forecasts by sector to 2030, including draft results, the modeling process, and next steps.
    Presenter: Garry Kaufman. Powerpoint presentation
  • Progress towards meeting emissions reduction goals: comparing local inventories of emissions reduction results with state level results.
    Overview: State and local inventory tool comparison, the state's progress towards its 2020 emissions reduction goal, comparison of state and local emissions sectors, and trends in local government reductions.
    Presenter: Tom Easley, director of programs, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. Powerpoint presentation

Breakout sessions: Programs that are breaking new ground.

  • Connecting regional and local climate work with state policy for maximum benefit.
    Overview: Progress in Garfield County on energy efficiency improvements and their economic benefit, national trends in energy efficiency improvements, and potential state funding for local government energy efficiency programs.
    Presenter: Alice Laird, executive director, Clean Energy Economy for the Region
    (CLEER). Powerpoint presentation

    Overview: The importance, challenges, and potential routes for local governments to participate in Colorado Public Utilities Commission proceedings.
    Presenter: Mona Newton, executive director, Community Office for Resource Efficiency.
  • The road to zero waste.
    Overview: Achieving 53% landfill diversion rate in Fort Collins and planning for what it would take to get to a zero waste rate.
    Presenter: Susie Gordon, senior environmental planner, City of Fort Collins. Powerpoint presentation
  • Pairing carrots and sticks to achieve energy efficiency.
    Overview: The genesis and strategies in City of Boulder's SmartRegs program, which addresses energy efficieny in rental housing.
    Presenter: Elizabeth Vasatka, business sustainability coordinator, City of Boulder. Powerpoint presentation

Plenary session #2: Program evaluations and midcourse corrections

  • Responding to barriers that constrain program goals.
    Overview: Evolution of Denver's climate action program strategies, changing course to address lags in participation by parts of the populace, opportunties in the new awareness of impacts within state (wildfires, extreme weather/floods).
    Presenter: Tom Herrod, climate and policy analyst, Department of Environmental Health, City and County of Denver. Powerpoint presentation
  • How program audits can lead to improved effectiveness.
    Overview: Adapting programs to remedy insufficient public buy-in through combined incentive/regulation packages such as SmartRegs and Energy Smart programs; exploring energy municipalization exploration to meet emission reduction goals.
    Presenter: Jonathan Koehn, regional sustainability coordinator, City of Boulder. Powerpoint presentation

Plenary session #3: New ways of doing business

  • The road to sustainability in Fort Collins.
    Overview: Accomplishing a 9% reduction in emissions between 2005 and 2012, the city is exploring net-zero strategies in two main arenas: the Fort ZED district in central Fort Collins and participation in the international Net Zero Cities organization.
    Presenter: Bruce Hendee, chief sustainability officer, City of Fort Collins. Powerpoint presentation
  • Emerging energy efficiency opportunities in the built environment.
    Overview: Built environment's 40% share of nationwide emissions requires energy efficiency action in order to meet long term emisssions reduction targets; four categories of performance-based investment opportunities to modernize built environment and infrastructure.
    Presenter: Alison Schwabe, sustainability program manager – Rocky Mountain Region, McKinstry. Powerpoint presentation
  • Looking beyond 2020 GHG goals: what can we expect and what do we need to accomplish?
    Overview: Denver's current trajectory of emissions reductions, analysis of 2050 80% reduction targets needs retention of policies such as federal vehicle emissions and commercial sector energy efficiency program, as well as other approaches.
    Presenter: Gregg Thomas, manager of air, water, and climate section, Department of Environmental Health, City and County of Denver. Powerpoint presentation

Plenary session #4: Moving forward

Group discussion on: Local government contributions to state actions; and the state role in filling gaps among local programs.

Leaders: Lucinda Smith, director of environmental services, City of Fort Collins;
Mark Ruzzin, Boulder County Commissioners Office; and Will Toor, transportation program director, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, and former county commissioner and mayor.

Discussions included (see conference proceedings for detail):

  • Collaboration models.
  • Examples of informal collaboration in Colorado that have been effective.
  • Opportuntities to come together.
  • Follow-up survey to determine relative value of identified opportunities.
  • Steering Committee follow-up.
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