While the Greenprint Advisory Council’s report/recommendations are available online at www.greenprintdenver.org, members of the media desiring hard copies of the report can obtain them by calling 720-865-9016.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Beth Conover, Director, Greenprint Denver
Marlena Fernández Berkowitz or Sarah Moss, Mayor’s Office
DENVER CALCULATES ITS CARBON FOOTPRINT
Greenprint Denver Advisory Council Provides Climate Action Recommendations for Public Feedback
(DENVER) An early signatory to the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Agreement aiming for a 10 percent per capita reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2012, the City and County of Denver has completed its most comprehensive inventory of local greenhouse gas emissions to date. Prepared by the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center’s Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering Project, this inventory – or calculation of Denver’s “carbon footprint” – informed the proposed climate action plan from the Greenprint Denver Advisory Council released Thursday for public consideration and feedback.
“Understanding where we’re starting from in terms of local greenhouse gas emissions is critical to the success of our short- and long-term sustainability strategies,” said Mayor John Hickenlooper, who signed the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Agreement in June 2005 and launched the Greenprint Denver program in July 2006. “We appreciate the hard work of the Greenprint Council in identifying opportunities for local residents, businesses and government to be a part of the climate change solution. This is a bold vision, and we hope Denver residents and businesses will take the time to study the Council’s recommendations and provide us with feedback.”
Denver’s greenhouse gas emissions come primarily from transportation, residential-commercial-industrial energy use, and the use of key urban materials. The inventory reveals that local greenhouse gas emissions have increased in almost direct proportion to the significant population growth Denver has experienced over the past decade, with both population and annual greenhouse gas emissions increasing 24 percent between 1990 and 2005. Denver’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions have remained nearly constant at about 25 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per person per year from 1990 to 2005, with total annual greenhouse gas emissions increasing from 11.8 million carbon dioxide equivalents in 1990 to 14.6 million in 2005.
The Greenprint Denver Advisory Council – whose broad-based members include civic, business and environmental leaders – spent eight months analyzing this data and working with local and national experts to develop recommendations to achieve and exceed the City’s current emissions reduction goals.
The Advisory Council’s draft climate action plan focuses on government, corporate and residential energy efficiencies; market incentives for energy conservation and waste reduction; promotion of density and transportation options; and opportunities for regional, state and federal action. The full draft of recommendations and details on the greenhouse gas emissions inventory are is available at www.greenprintdenver.org.
The Greenprint Council’s draft plan will be subject to extensive public input and feedback before the City’s climate action plan is finalized. The Greenprint Council will present their recommendations to City Council’s Public Amenities Committee Meeting on Tuesday, June 5. A lunchtime session with City employees will take place on Friday, June 8. There will be Greenprint community workshops at the City’s Neighborhood Conference at West High School on Saturday, June 9. A forum for the environmental community will take place on Wednesday, May 23. A presentation to the business community is also in the works. Additionally, feedback can be submitted online at the pilot blog available on www.greenprintdenver.org/blog or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Denver residents can now calculate their own carbon footprint at www.greenprintdenver.org, which provides a carbon calculator and simple ideas for individuals and families to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
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Greenprint Denver is a long-term, citywide program to promote the importance of sustainable development and ecologically-friendly practices throughout the community. Greenprint Denver’s efforts center around energy and emissions, green building and industry, urban design and transportation, water and the environment, and waste reduction. More information is available at www.greenprintdenver.org.