- Published on Monday, 09 July 2012 17:28
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Hurricane Issac and the subsequent flooding in Louisiana, the devastating wildfires spreading across the West, and the record highs and drought plaguing U.S. cities are becoming more frequent and more destructive. This uptick of extreme weather events is evidence of the destructiveness of climate change and an indicator of what is in store for our communities.
Cities across the country like Boulder, Colorado are taking steps to reduce their impact to climate change through the adoption of Climate Action Plans. Climate Action Plans are a way cities plan for climate change through the reduction of human-caused Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, which is identified as one cause of a changing climate.
In 2002, Boulder became a leader by taking the steps to reduce GHG emissions in their community. Boulder's Climate Action Plan set the goal of reducing community GHG emissions to seven percent below 1990 levels by 2012. The plan outlines programs to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy use, reduce emissions from motor vehicles, and take other steps toward meeting the Kyoto Protocol goal. While Boulder has not reached its 2012 target reduction goal, they continue to make progress toward the target. According to the 2010 progress report, community GHG emissions went down for the third consecutive year.
With no federal action on mitigating climate change, Boulder and other cities across the country are taking the lead to reduce their GHG emissions. A Climate Action Plan can help cut emissions, which over time, can mitigate the devastation and impact of extreme weather caused by climate change.
For more information on the Boulder, CO case study and other best practices relating to climate action plans visit the SCOTie site. Also, visit the SCOTie blog for more on how cities are planning for future growth and a changing climate.
Developed by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Sonoran Institute, SCOTie is a user-friendly clearinghouse of smart growth and successful policies from western communities. Follow updates on Twitter @SCOTieToolkit. Blog post by Hannah Oliver, SCOTie intern.