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Boulder Climate Commitment

Boulder's Climate Commitment Rising to the climate challenge, powering a vibrant future

Boulder's Climate Commitment  

Boulder's Climate Commitment pdf is the official climate strategy framework for the city organization. It provides a vision for Boulder's future, sets goals and targets related to emissions reduction and sustainability and provides initial pathways to reaching these goals.

In December 2016, the Climate Commitment was unanimously adopted by Boulder City Council. The goals and targets outlined in it provide the framework for city action on climate The Climate Commitment is an iterative, dynamic process that will be regularly updated to reflect new information and analysis.

Our Challenge

The combustion of fossil fuels is warming earth’s atmosphere and changing our climate. The current trajectory, if left unchecked, will lead to a human induced warming of 7 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), or higher. Such an increase in global temperatures will be catastrophic. To change this course, we must achieve dramatic near-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by rapidly transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Stabilizing the climate will also require using resources more efficiently and removing carbon from the atmosphere by restoring and enhancing ecosystems.

Our Opportunity

Transformation of our energy system is essential if we are going to stop burning fossil fuels. This transition presents an unparalleled opportunity. Technology, innovation and collective social change have the potential to create a world in which the fuel to power our lives is clean, abundant, free and accessible to all. We need to redirect our energy system investments, making them more decentralized and resilient in the process. More efficient use of energy and other resources can also support greater community abundance and shared equity. Enhancing ecosystems to remove carbon from the atmosphere also improves local air and water quality, leading to better public health.

Our Commitment

Boulder will rapidly transition to a clean energy economy and lifestyle through innovative strategies, products and services that dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance our community’s resilience and support a vital and equitable economy.

Our Goals

We will power our city with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and reduce Boulder’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

As we take the next steps in our Climate Commitment pdf, we are focusing on  four key areas of action.

  • Energy ​Reduce fossil fuel demand from buildings and transportation; rapidly transition to an energy system and economy that is powered 100 percent or more by renewable clean electricity with 50 percent or more of that produced locally.
  • Resources:   Reduce the emissions impacts caused by the use of goods and services by maximizing the productivity of all resources used and making purchasing decisions that support responsible resource use.
  • Ecosystems:   Enhance the ability of urban, wildland and agricultural ecosystems to capture and stabilize atmospheric carbon and provide critical buffering against climatic extremes.
  • Community Climate Action:  Support the inspiration and innovation of those who live, work, study and visit Boulder to create a low-carbon economy and lifestyle that improves the health, shared prosperity and long-term security of the community.

Rising to the climate challenge will require long-term action in all four areas; however, the city’s short-term strategy has focused on the first—energy—as the chief driver of climate change. To reduce harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from energy use, we will:  improve building efficiency and performance; expand clean transportation options; and develop renewable, local energy sources created in or closer to Boulder.

Contact us!

Contact Senior Environmental Planner Brett KenCairn at 303-441-3272.


Brett KenCairn
Senior Environmental Planner

Jonathan Koehn
Regional Sustainability Coordinator

Chris Hagelin
Senior Transportation Planner