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Boulder and the Global Movement to Tackle Climate Change at the Local Level

Climate action at the local level is gaining momentum. Boulder's playing no small role. 

Texas Army National Guardsmen assist Houston residents affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey (Photo Courtesy of the U.S. Dept. of Defense)For those watching the news over the past few weeks, the sense that the climate has changed was hard to avoid. Just as Boulder was marking the fourth anniversary of its record-shattering 1000-year rain event and subsequent deadly floods, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Caribbean islands and parts of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. At the same time, hundreds of wildfires raged throughout the west, damaging homes and habitats and polluting air throughout the United States.

For many, these events demonstrated phenomena that scientists and activists had been warning about for years: a warmer climate will make our storms more intense, our rains wetter, our fires larger and our droughts dryer. And, as virtual scientific consensus indicates, the world has gotten warmer (about 1.2°F since 1986) and human activities are the cause.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. While we’ve witnessed some scary climate impacts across the globe this year, we’ve also seen strong commitments and global coalitions forming to pick up the mantle of climate leadership. Boulder has been honored to work closely with an array of cities, states and businesses to collaborate on solutions and innovations that will help stem global temperature rise. 

Here’s a quick run-down on what we’re signed on to:

  • Ready for 100: Boulder is committed to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. You can read more about other cities that are Ready for 100 at www.sierraclub.org/ready-for-100
  • We’re Still In: The City of Boulder joined more than 1,200 U.S. governors, mayors, businesses, investors, colleges and universities to declare their intent to continue to pursue ambitious climate goals and work together to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions. Learn more at www.wearestillin.com
  • Climate Mayors: The city has adopted the Paris Climate Agreement goals. Learn more at www.climatemayors.org
  • #Under2Coalition: Boulder has joined a global pact committed to limiting temperature increase to below 2°C. 
  • Litigation to protect the Clean Power Plan: The city, along with other cities and states, has been working to legally defend the Clean Power Plan—which will reduce GHG emissions from power plants—from attempts to roll back its powers and weaken its requirements.
  • Colorado Communities for Climate Action: A policy group of Colorado cities dedicated to building momentum for climate policy at the state and national levels

As the home to dozens of world-class climate scientists, our community knows how important climate action is. In addition to our efforts to reduce emissions caused by our energy use, transportation choices and resource consumption, we’re committed to work with regional partners to secure changes at the state and federal level.

After all, as a global problem is going to require a global community of people willing to work together. 

Learn more about all our climate initiatives at www.BoulderClimate.com.

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