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Denver Mayor Signs Climate Action Plan

Mayor John Hickenlooper has signed Denver’s Climate Action Plan which aims to cut the city’s per-capita greenhouse-gas emissions by 10 percent by 2012, The Denver Post reports. Members of the council looked at practices across the country and incorporated what they believe to be the 10 best methods that should be adopted by Denver and its residents to cut the greenhouse-gas emissions:

Corporate and Residential Climate Challenges
Develop major business and residential outreach campaigns supporting the adoption of best practices related to energy conservation, purchase of renewable energy, support for multi-modal transportation, and waste reduction in the commercial and residential sectors. (28 percent toward 2012 goal)

Incentivize Energy Conservation
Introduce a proposal to apply a tiered rate structure to electrical and natural gas usage. Similar to water use rate charges, such electrical and natural gas tiered rates would impose a premium charge for excessive electrical and natural gas usage. Voter approval should be sought for this measure. Funds generated would be used to support energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction programs, especially for lower-income neighborhoods. (25-40 percent toward 2012 goal)

Voluntary Travel Offset Program
Provide the opportunity to pay a small voluntary fee, at the time of air travel or motor vehicle registration, to offset the carbon emissions related to travel. Funds would be used for carbon-absorbing or carbon-reducing activities. Explore potential partnership with the Governor’s Energy Office to develop local offset investment opportunities. (20 percent toward 2012 goal)

City Leading by Example
In addition to the five-year goals for city practice improvements outlined in the 2006 Greenprint Denver Action Agenda, aggressively pursue opportunities for energy efficiency and renewable energy at Denver International Airport, work to develop “carbon neutral” city buildings through application of energy efficiency savings to the purchase of Windsource, and make additional city fleet improvements. (9 percent toward 2012 goal)

Enhance Recycling Programs
Support new and expanded recycling initiatives throughout Denver, including multi-family, commercial and green waste recycling as part of the development of a comprehensive Solid Waste Master Plan. The goal is to double the present recycling rate, which contributes to both energy and greenhouse gas savings. (2 percent toward 2012 goal)

Energy Efficiency Standards for New Buildings and Remodels
Adopt a set of mandatory building standards for commercial buildings and building codes for new homes and some remodels that incorporate energy efficiency standards and renewable energy requirements. (4 percent toward 2012 goal; long-term {2020} impact up to 12 percent)

Increase Energy Efficiency in Existing Homes
Promote basic energy efficiency measures at residential properties as a way to improve the energy efficiency of older housing stock. Incentives to plant shade trees and install in-home energy display systems would enhance the effectiveness of this program. (1-4 percent toward 2012 goal; up to 10 percent toward long-term {2020} goal)

Community-wide High-performing Green Concrete Policy
Require, through city policies, the use of “green” concrete, containing a low to moderate percentage of fly ash, in all public and private construction projects. Pilot projects are recommended using both fly ash and recycled aggregates in public and private projects to evaluate the feasibility of large-scale implementation. (3 percent toward 2012 goal)

Compact Growth Boundary with Incentives for Density in Urban Areas
Support maintenance of the existing DRCOG growth boundary and support additional population growth around transit in the metro area to promote denser, more pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly neighborhoods that will reduce the demand for motorized personal transport. (2 percent toward 2012 goal; greater than 10 percent by 2020)

City Support for Alternative Transportation Strategies
Develop various city policies that promote the transition over time to the use of alternative transportation sources (such as bicycles, telecommuting, walking, van/car pools, and mass transit). These strategies may also include the promotion of alternatively fueled and high-fuel economy vehicles, including parking subsidies, car-share programs, and access fee discounts for hybrid taxis at DIA. (~2 percent toward 2012 goal)

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