A review of local climate stories from 2023.

A lot happened last year. From historic progress in our climate lawsuit to launching a podcast, the city has been working to build a better climate future for people in Boulder and beyond.

2023 was also the hottest year on record. And while Boulder’s climate action efforts continue to have a positive impact both locally and beyond its borders, it’s easy to feel like our individual actions don’t matter when the world keeps presenting us with troubling headlines.

In truth, all climate actions add up, but their impact isn’t the only reason to act. Climate action also counteracts feelings of hopelessness and despair. With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide to Finding Joy through Climate Action.

Here are some of the climate actions, both big and small, we took in 2023. Read on.


Historic Climate Lawsuit Will Proceed in Colorado

Trail leading toward the Flatirons

The United States Supreme Court rejected ExxonMobil and Suncor’s petition to force three Colorado communities — who sued the companies for their role in the climate crisis and the local impacts the communities suffer — into federal court. The result of the Supreme Court’s denial is that the cases brought by Boulder County, San Miguel County, and the City of Boulder will proceed in Colorado state court. The court also rejected petitions in four similar climate cases where fossil fuel companies sought federal jurisdiction, setting a precedent for similar cases across the country.

Read more: Supreme Court Rejects Big Oil's Bid to Review Landmark Climate Case

City Models Sustainable Deconstruction

Boulder Community Hospital deconstruction aerial photograph

The city recently finished dismantling a former hospital to make way for redevelopment on its Alpine-Balsam property. This process, called sustainable deconstruction, allowed for the reuse and recycling of almost 94% of the hospital’s building materials. Deconstruction is climate action with a big impact. Building materials are among the worst contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and drive overconsumption of natural resources. Every sustainably deconstructed building is a step toward achieving the city’s circular economy vision and climate targets.

Read more: Climate Action with a Big Impact

Making Progress on our Goals

Boulder flatirons at night with a starry sky

Each year, the city’s climate team measures where Boulder’s greenhouse gas emissions come from and tracks the community’s progress in reducing them. The latest data indicates significant progress and highlights the positive impacts Boulder’s efforts continue to have at local, state and even national levels. It also recognizes where accelerated efforts are needed to reach the city’s climate goals, with electrification, transportation and systems change identified as key areas for continued work and investment.

Dive into the data: City of Boulder Releases Three Emissions Inventories

Telling Our Story

Climate Action StoryMap

Child and adult hands holding soil with a sprout in it.

Last year, the city published its first Climate Action StoryMap to view Boulder’s climate impact through a more holistic lens. The StoryMap builds on the city’s annual greenhouse gas inventory, exploring both quantitative and qualitative impacts of local efforts to address the climate crisis.

Learn more: City Takes a Holistic Look at Climate Action Through Stories and Data

Tune into 'Let’s Talk Boulder'

Let's Talk Boulder logo

In May, the city launched its first English podcast, to explore our community, one conversation at a time. “Let's Talk Boulder” digs into stories and challenges across Boulder. The podcast examines topics that impact the Boulder community, and how they intersect with the climate crisis.

Read about the launch: City of Boulder Launches Podcast, “Let’s Talk Boulder

Centering Equity

Supporting Manufactured Home Communities

Manufactured homes in Mapleton Home Park

Supporting manufactured home communities is a key component of the city’s work to bring programs and services to those who have been historically underserved by local government. As part of these efforts, the city and county are partnering to support manufactured home communities with grants. The grants help fund repairs to make manufactured homes more energy efficient, with the goal of enhancing community resilience to climate change.

Learn more: Healthy and Resilient Mobile Homes Program

E-Bike Incentives

A person biking on an e-cargo bike with a child in the backseat

Last summer, the city distributed discount vouchers for e-bikes to people who live in Boulder, with larger discounts allotted to income-qualified community members. The goal of the incentives is to expand access to e-bikes, encourage more sustainable ways of travel and better understand the role e-bikes play in advancing Boulder's climate and transportation goals

Learn more: City of Boulder Offers E-Bike Vouchers to City Residents

Leading The Way

City of Boulder is Recognized on Carbon Disclosure Project’s A List

Kids and an adult picking up trash at a local park

For the fifth year in a row, Boulder was recognized as one of 119 cities across the globe taking bold leadership on environmental action and transparency by the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Read the full article: Boulder Named Climate Action Leader on Carbon Disclosure Project 2023 A List

Scaling Boulder’s Climate Action

Aerial view of Boulder buildings with Flatirons in the distance

In 2023, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report on how human activities have unequivocally caused global warming. While climate change is a global challenge, the report makes clear that all sectors of society, levels of government and individuals have a role to play. In Boulder, we’re taking this responsibility seriously.

Learn how: UN Climate Report: What You Need to Know

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