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Boulder's Climate Commitment

Help us update our website by taking a three-minute survey. 

Rising to the climate challenge, powering a vibrant future

The burning of coal, oil and gas for energy is warming Earth’s atmosphere and changing our climate. As a result, we’ve seen more frequent and intense temperature extremes and destructive weather events. For our community, climate action is about resilience and transformation: we need to adapt to the climate changes that are already in motion, as well as reduce the emissions-heavy activities that drive future climate change. We face a great challenge but also a great opportunity to make Boulder better-- to  create a healthier, safer and more prosperous community. We need your help to make it happen!

Boulder's Climate Goals and Progress

​These goals were adopted on Dec. 7, 2016 by Boulder City Council. The Climate Commitment pdf document guides city action on climate to achieve these goals; however, community climate action is also an essential component to reaching them.

Visit our Boulder Measures page to track our progress on our community emissions and city organizations emissions goals. 

To date, we're on track to reach our 80 percent emissions reduction goal. In 2016, the community has successfully reduced emissions 18 percent below 2005 levels. 

Boulder's Programs and Projects

Learn more about the city's ongoing and upcoming climate and energy initiatives on our climate programs and projects page. 

New program!

Comfort365 is a new partnership between the City of Boulder and Boulder County’s EnergySmart Program to provide residents with a cleaner, more efficient and more comfortable option to cool and heat their homes​. 

comfort365

Climate Accountability Litigation

On April 17, the city, in partnership with Boulder County and San Miguel County filed a lawsuit against two oil companies operating in Colorado. 

Climate change affects fragile high-altitude ecosystems and hits at the heart of these communities’ local economies, affecting roads and bridges, parks and forests, buildings, farming and agriculture, the ski industry, and public open space. Adapting to such a wide range of impacts requires local governments to undertake unprecedented levels of planning and spending. Over the next three decades, these communities will face at least one hundred million dollars in costs to deal with the impacts of climate change caused by the use of fossil fuel products like those made and sold by Suncor and Exxon.

Learn more about the lawsuit by watching a video overview as well as visiting Boulder County's web page.

Roadmap to Renewable Living: Four Actions with Impact

Looking to take action on climate in your household? These four actions—maximizing your energy efficiency, powering your life with renewable energy, electrifying your heating and cooling and clean transportation-- really add up and make a difference. Ready to make a move? We have resources to help!

Check out our Actions with Impact  page for more information about each action and available incentives, advising and resources.

Boulder.Earth Community Website

The Boulder.Earth website is a partnership between the city and local nonprofits C3, Impact Hub Boulder and 350 Boulder County to inspire community climate action. The site, by the community, for the community, will foster climate action in Boulder and bridge the disconnect between existing organizations and volunteers working toward climate action in Boulder by providing a centralized communication and connection hub.

The site features a sustainability calendar, a rotating list of actions for impact, a directory of organizations and storytelling from across Boulder and beyond. This online community, available to all, helps to maximize resources, engage volunteers and increase collaboration across the spectrum of climate action stakeholders. The site and the groups behind it also work to build connections between groups and people through events, both online and off. 

Partnership Spotlight

carbon neutral cities alliance badgeCarbon Neutral Cities Alliance

Did you know? Boulder is a part of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance (CNCA), a global collaboration of 20 cities who are committed to cutting emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050 or sooner. Being a part of this cohort allows Boulder to collaborate and share lessons in deep carbon reduction best practices with other progressive cities around the world.

Visit Boulder's profile on the CNCA website to get a snapshot of Boulder's emissions reduction targets as well as other sustainability initiatives. 

Why we can’t wait to take action—and why Boulder’s efforts matter!

Latest Climate Videos

A Brighter Future

Find out why Boulder is shooting for 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030. Visit boulderenergyfuture.com for more information.

Boulder's Climate Commitment

climate commitment cover The strategic framework laid out in the Climate Commitment pdf guides the city's climate work in four action areas: energy, ecosystems, resources and community climate action. 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. Learn more on the Climate Commitment page.

 

 

 

 

Community Climate Action

Reaching our Climate Commitment goals is only possible with the support and efforts of our community! Watch the video below for examples of the many transformative efforts taking place in our community. Also, see our climate programs and projects page for more of the exciting efforts being coordinated by the city.

 

 

Get Connected!

Sign up to receive email updates on climate and energy efforts and events.

Contact us

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

Staff

Jim Robertson
 Director, Planning, Housing and Sustainability

Brett KenCairn
Senior Environmental Planner

Kendra Tupper
Chief Sustainability Officer

Jonathan Koehn
Regional Sustainability Coordinator

Chris Hagelin
Senior Transportation Planner

Resources 

Upcoming City Events

 

 

 

 

Better Together: Community Resiliency

Better Together explores the meaning of resilience and the role of emergency management, and helps individuals develop personal skills and connections to navigate emergency situations. The program consists of three workshops and features a mosaic of interactive exercises, group discussions, guest speakers, and activities aimed at developing a mindset of resilience in the context of a variety of hazards. Apply on the resilience website.

 

 

 

City Climate and Energy Programs and Projects

Boulder Building Performance An ordinance to reduce energy use and improve the quality of Boulder’s commercial and industrial building stock by requiring rating and reporting (R&R) and energy efficiency measures.

Boulder Energy Challenge A grant program to foster innovative solutions from the community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Boulder's Energy Future:   The city's long-term effort to create a municipal electric utility in order to democratize, decarbonize and decentralize electricity in Boulder. 

Boulder Solar Tool An interactive online tool that illustrates the solar potential of individual buildings and supports community investments in solar power.

Climate + Sustainability Department :  The department home page for climate and sustainability programs.

Collaborations in 2017: Regional, National and International A document of Boulder's regional, national and international collaborations on legislative and regulatory issues, as well as technical and working group collaborations for 2017.

CU Energy Green Team A collaborative program with the University of Colorado Environmental Center to foster peer-to-peer education  in student-heavy neighborhoods about energy efficiency and Boulder's energy goals. 

Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations An overview of electric vehicle incentives and charging options around Boulder.  

Energy Conservation Code Energy and sustainability code requirements for new construction, additions and building renovations.

Energy loans from Elevations Credit Union Low interest loans to make energy upgrades for your home or business.

EnergySmart A program that provides free and discounted energy efficiency advising services and rebates to residents and businesses.

Greenhouse Gas Inventory:   A community inventory of Boulder's greenhouse gas emissions.

Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) A business sustainability advising service that provides free technical support to Boulder businesses and helps them achieve their sustainability goals.

Resilient Boulder:   City strategy and programs to prepare for and respond effectively to stress such as flood, wildfires, violence or illness. 

SmartRegs A series of ordinances that supports tenant comfort and reduced energy waste by requiring all rental housing to meet a basic energy efficiency standard by Dec. 31, 2018.

Solar Resources:  Information on solar in Boulder.

Solar Grant and Rebate Programs Programs that support Boulder residents, businesses and nonprofits in financing solar power installations at their homes, businesses and facilities.

Zero Waste:  Programs and policies to reduce waste in Boulder, including the Universal Zero Waste Ordinance, which requires composting and recycling throughout our community.

History of Climate Action in Boulder

Boulder launched its first formal climate action efforts pdf in 2002. Since that time, the city has been at the forefront of innovation in working to reduce climate impacts: adopting the Climate Action Plan tax, the country's first voter approved tax dedicated to addressing climate change, developing a national model for delivering energy efficiency services, enacting the country’s most stringent energy code for new buildings and much more. 

Boulder's Climate Action Plan, often referred to as the CAP, was Boulder's first phase of climate action, and featured a set of aggressive, city-funded programs and services designed to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change. As a result of CAP-funded programs, many of which exist today, Boulder avoided more than 50,000 metric tons of emissions between 2007 and 2015, keeping our community emissions fairly constant despite growth in population, jobs and economic activity. 

In Dec. 2016, Boulder City Council adopted the Climate Commitment and its associated goals of an 80 percent reduction in community greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2050; 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030; and 80 percent reduction in organization greenhouse gas emissions below 2008 levels by 2030. The goals and their related sub-milestones are the city’s first since the expiration of the city’s previous climate action goal in 2012.

Learn more about Boulder's energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through Boulder's GHG inventory.

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