Status of Key Council Action

Adopt revised climate goals and targets

On Track: Anticipated adoption scheduled for August 2021


The city has proposed a new framework for climate action which includes updates climate goals and targets and elevating the importance of systems-change approaches to climate work. The current approach focuses on five major action areas: energy, ecosystems, circular economy, land use, and financial systems. All action areas are expected to focus on mitigation and adaptation with the core design principle of equity, in short- and long-term planning efforts.


  • Supported the community in achieving a 21% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions through efficiency, local generation, and electrification from a 2005 baseline even as the city’s population and GDP grew.
  • Achieved Boulder’s local renewable energy generation target (50 megawatts by 2020), by facilitating the installation of a total of 61 megawatts of local renewable generation capacity.
  • Recognized as a global leader on environmental action and transparency in climate reporting by the carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an international nonprofit that collects environmental data.
  • Participated in the drafting and passage of 12 climate-related Legislative Bills.
  • Invested in three local solar garden projects to support low-income residents.
  • Installed more than 2MW of solar on city facilities.
  • Secured a DC-fast charging installation for the city’s parking garage at 1500 Pearl.
  • Launched a new refundable Deconstruction Deposit program to increase waste diversion.
  • Negotiated contract and launched kick-off event with Accelerating Neighborhood Climate Action (ANCA) for the design/ facilitation of neighborhood and faith-based climate action forums.
  • Engaged community and organizational partners in new ecosystems efforts and launched the Grow and Give Modern Victory Garden and worked with Eco-Cycle to launch the Community Carbon Farming project.
  • Completed Circular Boulder study to develop a holistic picture of materials being consumed, transformed and wasted in Boulder and inform future program design.
  • Developed partnership agreement with 350.Colorado to coordinate approach for the Financial Working Group and economic systems portion of CMAP.
  • Initiated Boulder’s first vehicle-to-building electric vehicle charging project to test the ability to reduce building energy costs.

Next Steps

Continue the design and roll-out of the Updated Climate Action Plan including:

  • Council adoption of updated science-based climate goals and targets.
  • Complete the design and implement climate action strategies.
  • Revise local climate action strategies as necessary to coordinate with broader community and regional efforts.
  • Formalize sequestration strategy on open space lands and urban ecosystems.
  • Continued deployment of local community solar gardens to serve low-income customers.
  • Advance a circular economy roadmap, focusing on reuse and repair, food systems, packaging. Researching consumption-based emissions reporting and identifying new circular economy metrics.
  • Expand work in the ecosystems and financial systems areas and coordinate with land use planning.
  • Work to pilot new financing options to improve the affordability and increase access to clean energy technologies for all community members.
  • Select three pilot neighborhoods and hold climate action forums through work with ANCA.

Continue progress toward the community’s greenhouse gas reduction goals including:

  • Complete lighting upgrades and retro-commissioning studies for commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet.
  • Enforce and track construction waste recycling and reuse activities.
  • Develop and pilot new programs to deliver energy services to the community.

Advocate for 2021 state legislative action on priority bills such as removal of the 120% limit on distributed solar, beneficial electrification in buildings and mobility, low-emission vehicles, energy storage, energy choice, building energy use, single-use disposables; and pesticide preemption rules; and continue advocacy efforts at state regulatory agencies such as the Public Utilities Commission, Air Quality Control Commission and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Anticipated Council Action

  • Update to Council on updated climate-related goals and targets and updated climate action strategies scheduled for Q2 2021.
  • Resolution to adopt updated climate-related goals and targets for August 2021.
  • Update to Council on investment strategies to support updated climate action strategies scheduled for Q4 2021