Climate Action

Denver is excited to announce bold, new climate goals! These goals were adopted as part of our recently released Climate Protection Fund Five-Year Plan.

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Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. The effects of a warming planet are already being felt in our city and around the world. From increases in wildfires and droughts to the spread of disease to worsening air quality, the evidence clearly shows that climate change is having a broad-reaching impact on our daily lives. Cities generate more than 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. That makes us a key part of the climate solution. Denver is committed to do our part to ensure our children have a climate safe future.

Denver's Climate Goals 

Denver aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 65% by 2030!

Goal Year GHG Emissions Reduction 
 2025 40% 
 2030 65%
 2040 100% 

 

Cities and businesses around the world are adopting science-based targets (SBT) to align their ambition with the latest climate science. The SBT represents our community’s fair share of greenhouse gas reductions necessary to meet the Paris Agreement commitment of keeping warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. An analysis conducted through the Race to Zero initiative found that Denver should strive for a 62.8% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 from a 2019 baseline.

This SBT was endorsed by the Sustainability Advisory Council on the recommendation of its Science and Research committee. Mayor Hancock accepted this recommendation and increased the ambition of the goal to a 65% reduction in emissions by 2030 from a 2019 baseline. 

These goals were adopted as part of the Climate Protection Fund Five-Year Plan. Learn more about the Climate Protection Fund and read the plan here.

 

Climate Action

What is Climate Action?

Efforts to reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions.

Examples:

  • Increasing renewable energy use
  • Upgrading and replacing equipment to energy-efficient models
  • Informing consumers to make sustainable decisions
  • Increasing transit ridership
  • Enhancing areas that accumulate and store carbon (such as trees)

Denver's Climate Action Plan

Climate change is not only the single greatest public health and environmental threat, it is one of the biggest challenges of our generation. Future generations will judge us on how well we preserved the habitability of our only home — Earth. From local impacts such as worsening air quality and increasing frequency of extreme heat to global impacts like reductions in food supply and sea level rise, the effects will be felt in Denver and around the world. Cities can bend the curve on carbon because they are responsible for over 70 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. Denver can implement effective strategies that will help guide our City to a climate safe future in a way that works well for all the businesses and residents of Denver. These strategies will also clean our air and water, make us more resilient, improve our health and preserve quality of life in the city that we love. Our vision is to:

  • Make Denver a leader in clean and local energy that comes from the sun, wind, or other innovative renewable technologies.
  • Transform Denver buildings into high-performing places to live, work, learn, and play.
  • Inspire community action and ensure environmental justice, equity and affordability as Denver transitions to a carbon-free energy system.
  • Transform Denver into a community where people walk, bike, take transit, or carpool for most trips in a safe, accessible, and affordable transportation network.
  • Guide Denver toward a clean, carbon-free transportation system that improves the health and livability of our communities.
  • Make Denver a leader in sustainable, smart transportation through innovative partnerships, policies, programs, and technology.

Read the full Climate Action Plan here.

Denver Climate Action Plan

 

Climate Adaptation

What is Climate Adaptation?

Efforts to prepare for and adjust to the current and future impacts of climate change.

Examples:

  • Ensuring the availability of cooling centers in the face of extreme heat events
  • Upgrading stormwater infrastructure to better withstand extreme rainfall events

Denver's Climate Adaptation Plan

The Denver Climate Adaptation Plan outlines the key climate vulnerabilities the City faces and lays out agency actions to prepare for and address those vulnerabilities. Acting now to prepare for climate change can ensure future generations will enjoy clean air and water, economic opportunity, effective and efficient infrastructure, parks and open spaces, and a healthy environment that supports wellbeing.

Three top vulnerabilities are identified in the plan:

  1. An increase in temperature and urban heat island effect
  2. An increase in frequency of extreme weather events
  3. Reduced snowpack and earlier snowmelt 

Read the full Climate Adaptation plan here.

Denver Climate Adaptation Plan

Denver One Water Plan

Development and climate change are putting new stresses on Denver’s water infrastructure and waterways. New technologies and tools that facilitate non-traditional water management techniques are quickly evolving. Managing water and land use in Denver is challenging, given that multiple agencies are involved in water management, each with unique responsibilities and differing service areas.

The partnership between the City and County of Denver, Denver Water, Mile High Flood District, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District, Greenway Foundation and the Colorado Water Conservation Board will break down the historical silos between drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and other water uses to cooperatively manage the entire water cycle. Through enhanced collaboration and predictable land use and development policies, Denver’s One Water Plan will promote healthy watersheds in an equitable, economically, and environmentally beneficial manner.

Learn more about Denver's One Water Plan