PLAN-Boulder County supports Ordinance No. 7848 authorizing the City Council to extend the Climate Action Plan excise tax for the purpose of continuing to provide incentives, services, and other assistance to Boulder residents and businesses to improve energy efficiency, expand the use of renewable energy, and take other necessary steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for five more years after the current tax is set to expire in March 2013.

In 2007, Boulder’s CAP tax was the first time a community voted to tax itself to reduce Green House Gas emissions and the urgency to reduce them even more today has never been greater. We agree with the staff report that “the CAP tax would provide the simplest means for continuing, evolving or creating new demand-side services in the city” and that “while climate action will continue in the community with or without the revenue generated by the tax, the emission reduction strategies that are funded by the tax provide an essential foundation.”

If the CAP tax is extended, it is critical that we have improved tracking, reporting and evaluation of the program as well as examining closely how the tax coordinates with the potential formation of a municipal utility.

Global warming is one of the most serious issues facing our planet and is likely to have highly negative impacts on Boulder County and the Rocky Mountain region. PLAN has made climate action – specifically efforts that bring Boulder County residents together to reduce our contributions to climate change – its leading agenda issue for 2009.

Many of the issues that PLAN Boulder County has tackled over the past 50 years have addressed climate change. Development and density, green building, Smartgrowth planning, transportation and transit, open space, and many other key issues for PLAN are linked to greenhouse gas emissions. With local communities taking stock of our collective impacts on global climate change, PLAN Boulder County will provide more opportunities to inform, educate, and advocate in order to meet the Kyoto protocol goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow global warming.

Local climate action research and materials:

State of Colorado Climate Action Plan

Boulder County Sustainable Energy Plan

City of Boulder Climate Action Plan

ClimateSmart Program

ClimateSmart Loan Program