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March 17, 2017 - Boulder Achieves Five Percent Reduction in Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Friday, March 17, 2017
Media Contacts:
Kimberlee Rankin, Climate + Sustainability, 303-441-4227
Alexis Bullen, Sustainability Communications, 303-441-1878

Boulder Achieves Five Percent Reduction in Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions
2015 inventory shows progress on climate goals despite economic and population growth

The City of Boulder achieved a 5.2 percent reduction in community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2015 as compared to a 2005 baseline, according to an analysis of the most recently available data. This progress occurred during a time of economic and population growth in the city, magnifying the reductions even more.

These are the conclusions of Boulder’s current GHG inventory, which was made public on Thursday, March 16, in an Information Packet to City Council. The city has published inventory reports since 2005 as a way of measuring progress of emission reductions initiatives funded by the Climate Action Plan tax. These inventories are often a couple of years behind based on when complete data becomes available.

This inventory follows a new protocol in keeping with the 2015 Compact of Mayors, a worldwide effort to highlight the leadership of cities in addressing climate change and demonstrating the collective impact of city efforts. One of the requirements of the compact is the completion of a GHG inventory that complies with the Global Protocol for Community-Scale GHG Emissions (GPC). The 2015 GHG inventory was completed based on these guidelines.

To provide a valid point of comparison, the city also revised its 2012 community GHG inventory. The revision followed the newly adopted GPC guidelines, which ensured more accurate data and avoided methodology inconsistencies between inventories. The revised findings from the 2012 inventory show the city achieved a 4.1 percent reduction in emissions as compared to the 2005 baseline.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and doing so in a way that allows the community to continue to thrive, is a key goal,” said City Manager Jane Brautigam. “These results demonstrate that Boulder’s climate programs and leadership are making a difference. This foundation is incredibly valuable as we work to meet the even more rigorous climate goals that the city has established for 2030 and 2050.”

The city updated its climate goals in December 2016. These goals recognize both what scientists are saying about the need for immediate action, as well as experiences Boulder has had in recent years with climate change, most notably fires and floods. The goals call for an 80 percent reduction in communitywide emissions by the year 2050 (compared to the same 2005 baseline used in recent inventories), as well as a switch to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

For more information about the City of Boulder 2015 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Summary Report, including a helpful infographic, please visit Information about the city’s climate strategy and programs is available at