The agency’s Climate Protection Fund committed $57 million in climate action projects and programs in its first year
DENVER, June 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency (CASR) released its 2021 annual report, including the first-year investments of the Climate Protection Fund (CPF). CASR is Denver’s newest agency and was chartered two years ago on July 1, 2020.
The annual report is issued on the heels of the US Supreme Court’s decision to limit the regulatory powers of the Environmental Protection Agency over greenhouse gas emissions.
"On the eve of CASR’s second anniversary, our city remains steadfast in our commitment to climate action, the policies and programs that will support it, and the transformative investments that are already beginning to make a difference to build resiliency for our residents and neighborhoods,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “With the Supreme Court’s ruling today limiting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, it’s even more critical that we act now at the local level. I urge cities and leaders across the nation to join us in taking strong action on climate to protect our future and our children’s future.”
The global climate crisis is contributing to Denver’s longer and more frequent droughts, hotter temperatures and poor air quality, among other hazards. Scientists and experts agree that wealthier nations and cities must act swiftly to curb further greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and support adaptation and resilience for those most vulnerable to address the impacts we are already experiencing today.
“Two-thirds of the global population live in cities, so cities need to take action,” said Grace Rink, Denver’s chief climate officer. “Denver’s Climate Protection Fund is exceptional among local governments, and can equitably support the policy measures designed to get us to net zero by 2040.”
In 2021, CASR led or supported key climate policies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, including:
Energize Denver, led by the Energize Denver Task force and implemented by Community Planning and Development and CASR to drastically cut buildings’ reliance on fossil fuels.
Bring Your Own Bag, led by City Council and implemented by CASR to reduce the use of plastic bags
#SkiptheStuff, led by City Council and implemented by CASR to reduce the use of single-use items when ordering takeout or delivery.
The city’s Climate Protection Fund provides approximately $40 million each year dedicated to climate action in six key areas, including Adaptation & Resiliency, Buildings & Homes, Climate & Environmental Justice, Sustainable Transportation, Renewable Energy, and Workforce Development. The CPF Five Year Plan outlined funding priorities in each of these areas. In its first year of funding, the Climate Protection Fund committed to:
$18 million in community solar, with 30 percent of the power generated helping pay bills for Denver Public Schools families with lower incomes.
Nearly 1,000 paid positions in workforce development programs designed to give under-resourced residents a clear pathway to the quality, in-demand jobs of the future.
Planting more than 2,000 trees to increase tree canopy in climate-vulnerable neighborhoods.
A free, on-demand micro-shuttle to help Montbello residents move around their neighborhood and connect to transit.
Co-creating climate and environmental justice solutions with historically underrepresented communities.
Retrofitting the Forum Apartments to an all-electric building, improving the health, safety and comfort of residents experiencing homelessness.
More than half of the Climate Protection Fund’s first-year investments directly benefit Denver’s most climate-vulnerable residents, surpassing its mandate to direct 50 percent of the funds towards those communities. As of today, Denver’s most climate-vulnerable residents can immediately take advantage of:
Rebates for e-bikes and e-cargo bikes to replace car trips, covering up to 100% of the cost
Rebates for energy efficient heating and cooling, covering up to 100% of the cost
Free e-bike libraries for essential workers in the Westwood and Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea neighborhoods
Reduced costs for solar panel installations
Paid workforce training programs
About Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency
The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency leads Denver's ambitious emissions reduction targets and sustainability programs in collaboration with fellow departments, other units of government, and community partners. The office aligns its goals with current climate science, and promotes the role that climate action and sustainability play in strengthening Denver's economic vitality for a prosperous future for all residents and businesses. Equity underscores all this work, delivering and prioritizing benefits to Denver’s most climate-vulnerable people.
CONTACT: Winna MacLaren Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency 7206482043 firstname.lastname@example.org