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Climate and Sustainability Goals Focus on Public Health, Economy

DENVER – Today the Denver Climate Action Task Force finalized recommendations that include reducing the city’s emissions to zero by 2040, 20 percent lower and 10 years earlier than previously planned. The report was produced for the city’s new Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency, which officially launched July 1.

“Denver understands the direct connection between environmental quality and public health,” said Mayor Michael Hancock. “It’s about equity. Leading on climate change means continuing the work of improving public health across our city, especially in under-served communities of color that have long suffered the disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation,” said Mayor Hancock.

The Climate Action Task Force, a diverse representation of residents, businesses, and environmental and social justice advocates appointed by the Mayor, has been deliberating since January. Their recommendations also include requiring all new buildings and homes to be net zero by 2030, promoting electric vehicles, requiring recycling of construction waste, and encouraging recycling and composting through a dynamic fee structure.

“We know that reducing the impacts of climate change strengthen our economy by creating and sustaining family-supporting jobs and enhancing public health,” said Grace Rink, Executive Director of the Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency, “During this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to evaluating our priorities through an equity lens.”

Denver published its first Climate Action Plan in 2006, and in 2013 Mayor Hancock issued Executive Order 123which created the Office of Sustainability and established sustainability policies for all departments. The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency is the next evolution in the City’s approach to both the challenge and opportunity to advance an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable city in which all Denverites can live, work, and thrive.  The final report of the Climate Action Task force is available here: https://www.denvergov.org/climatestakeholder.

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About Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency

Mayor Michael Hancock and the Denver City Council created the Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency to manage the City's ambitious emission reduction goals and sustainability programs in collaboration with fellow departments, other units of government, and community partners. The office ensures that the City's targets are aligned with current climate science, promotes the role that climate action and sustainability play in strengthening Denver's economic vitality and a prosperous future for all residents and businesses, and embraces equity as a value and practice in all of its work.