IPCC Report urges local action — The #Westminster Window


Click the link to read the article on the Westminster Window website (Luke Zarzecki). Here’s an excerpt:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their 2nd part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability on Feb. 28. The report comes as a dire warning about the consequences of inaction, according to a press release from the IPCC.

“(The report) is essentially a literature review of all the science on this topic,” said Dr. Lauren Gifford, an Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Locally, Gifford points to what she sees as a multi-decade drought hitting the Front Range. As well, the Marshall Fire, shifting ski seasons, the Boulder Floods in 2013, more frequent wildfires and the shortage of drinking water that can come from a changing climate.

Just a week earlier, the Westminster City Council nixed climate action from their strategic plan — a big mistake, according to Westminster City Councilor Obi Ezeadi….Both he and Gifford agreed that the evidence is apparent. Gifford studies the intersections of global climate change policy, conservation, markets and justice. She also assisted the 675 contributing authors, on top of the 270 regular authors from 67 different countries…

To shift away from a fossil fuel economy, she urges federal, state and local governments to step in, especially the federal government helping municipal governments who may lose tax revenue. For example, areas that depend on tax revenues from oil and gas would see revenues drop if production slows. That tax base, she said, goes to things like roads, infrastructure, schools and ambulances…

Gifford said that local municipalities play a huge role in combating climate change. Northglenn Mayor Meredith Leighty said their council keeps climate change at the forefront of their conversations while making decisions…

Mayor Jan Kulmann of Thornton — an oil and gas engineer as well — sees her city winning from addressing climate change from a business perspective…She points to increasing municipal electric vehicles, lighting structures to be less energy-intensive and changing yards to need less water.

Thornton City Councilor Julia Marvin would like to see a sustainability manager for the City of Thornton who would oversee a holistic, equitable perspective of sustainability with a dedicated budget. She is also in favor of subsidies for residents to install solar power…

Westminster completed a Sustainability Plan in 2021 with ambitious goals such as having 100% renewable electricity, 100% of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park, 100% electric vehicles and 100% energy-efficient, healthy homes. These goals do not have a deadline, however…

[Max Boykoff] also recommended policies to help households switch over to heat pumps, commitments to tree planting and a carbon tax to help fund environmental initiatives and steer folks away from carbon.

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