Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency has released a five-year plan that aims to model how cities can lead the way in tackling the climate crisis.
The Climate Protection Fund provides up to $40m annually of direct support in the six areas of: adaptation and resiliency; environmental justice; high performance buildings and homes; job creation and workforce development; renewable energy; and sustainable transportation.
“Denver needs to create a healthier, more inclusive environment if we are to do our part in avoiding the worst climate change impacts to come”
Highlights of the plan include:
- funding priorities to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate impacts
- citywide goals aligned with the latest climate science
- frameworks to inform data-driven equity solutions and to conduct meaningful, targeted community engagement
- desired outcomes with measurable indicators that will inform progress
- financial transparency to track revenue and expenditures, endeavoring to invest 50 per cent or more of funding in vulnerable communities.
“As the world turns its attention to the global collaboration happening on the ground right now in Glasgow, I am proud to say that Denver is a leader in the US when it comes to tangible and innovative solutions to climate change that provide direct benefits to residents,” said Michael Hancock, mayor.
Projects and programmes collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, help vulnerable communities adapt and thrive, and promote environmental justice for people and communities most impacted by climate change
“According to projections by the United Nations, our cities will account for 68 per cent of the world’s population by 2050. Cities are beacons of innovation when it comes to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement,” added Grace Rink, Denver’s chief climate officer.
The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency said it will work to co-create future funding opportunities with communities that have experienced the greatest inequities and injustices in the climate crisis.
“Denver needs to create a healthier, more inclusive environment if we are to do our part in avoiding the worst climate change impacts to come, and the Climate Protection Fund is well on its way to achieving our ambitious targets.”
In less than a year since its inception, the Climate Protection Fund has provided e-bike libraries for essential workers, e-cargo bikes for local food rescue and delivery services, financial support for Denver homeowners to install solar, workforce development to recruit and train workers for green jobs, net-zero energy training for building owners and developers, and micro-transit shuttles in neighbourhoods with high transit needs.