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Mayor, Council Announce New Plan to Address Climate

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the seven members of City Council who are sponsoring two climate bills today announced a new plan to strengthen Denver’s work to address climate change by creating a new city agency and collaborating on a community-engagement process.

Highlights of the proposal unveiled today include:

  • Establishing a new Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency that will report directly to the Mayor. The office will be established by ordinance with City Council approval by Oct. 31 and will be fully functional by July 1, 2020. It will combine personnel from the existing Office of Sustainability and the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment. The Mayor also intends to propose an additional $8 million next year to expand efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Immediately launching a formal process to examine Denver’s current climate work, identify gaps, analyze funding needs and engage experts, interested stakeholders and a wide range of community members. The process will be professionally facilitated and led by both the Administration and members of Council. It will conclude by the end of May 2020, giving Council ample time to consider referring a possible measure to the November 2020 ballot.
  • Delaying action on the two proposed ordinances that are currently scheduled for second reading before City Council this evening. Those ordinances are co-sponsored by Council President Jolon Clark and Council Members Candi CdeBaca, Stacie Gilmore, Chris Hinds, Paul Kashmann, Amanda Sandoval and Amanda Sawyer.

“No matter where you live on this planet, the effects of climate change are real, they are happening right now, and they represent the greatest environmental threat to the security and well-being of our community, city and country,” Mayor Hancock said. “Thanks to Denver Public Health & Environment, Denver is a known and recognized leader in the fight against climate change. But the science tells us we must move even more aggressively. That’s why I stand united with Council President Clark and members of Council to lead with even more urgency while engaging our residents and stakeholders in crafting a Denver response to this global crisis.”

“We are facing a climate change crisis, and Denver must step up to do everything that we can to live up to our Paris Agreement promise, meet the science-based targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, and protect the planet for future generations,” Council President Clark said. “This new plan positions us to take this issue head on and work with our communities and stakeholders to create a clear path and identify the needed funding to take urgent and unprecedented action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions."

Mayor Hancock and Council President Clark are optimistic the agreement will benefit all of Denver, and if successful, they will encourage Resilient Denver to withdraw its proposed ballot measure.

“We are encouraged by the power of ordinary people to bring the city and stakeholders to the table to find sustained funding to ensure that Denver grows as a global leader in addressing the climate crisis,” Resilient Denver members said. “We see a great opportunity to find an equitable path towards eliminating greenhouse gas emissions while preparing Denver and its vulnerable populations for the negative externalities associated with climate change.”