Making Smart Choices to Decrease Energy Demands and Improve Air Quality
There is widespread scientific consensus that global climate change is a long-term problem and its economic, social and environmental impacts may take years to fully unfold.
Even as the impacts of this change are still being understood, it is clear that good government requires that we address and manage the risk of potential impacts through our actions wherever possible.
There is likewise consensus that slowing or reversing human contributions to greenhouse gas may take decades, even with immediate and aggressive actions by people worldwide.
In Colorado, potential impacts on snow pack and related water supply and tourism effects are cause for concern for industry leaders and policy-makers alike.
Managing risks and ameliorating possible impacts takes vision and discipline. At the local level, transitioning to an energy mix that is dominated by cleaner fuels such as natural gas, wind and solar, and implementing higher energy efficiency standards will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring many additional benefits, including improved air quality, lower energy bills and reduced dependence on foreign oil supplies.
Denver is the Balanced Energy Capital of the West, with an economy focused on both the supply and demand sides of a complex energy challenge.
On the supply side, Denver continues to be a world leader in solar research and the hub of natural gas exploration and development throughout the Rockies. More recently, it has added wind energy and incentives for individual applications through Amendment 37 – legislation passed by Colorado voters in 2004 requiring that 10 percent of all electricity produced must come from renewable sources by 2015. On the demand side, Denver’s business community is beginning to pursue more aggressive energy management and efficiency programs.
This balanced approach will contribute to a sustainable future for our children while meeting the reliability and use demands of our community during this transition period.
A cornerstone of Greenprint Denver’s energy management and energy efficiency goals includes the development and implementation of an updated Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan.
The GGRP will monitor the emissions impacts of the city’s work over time, including adoption of high-performance building practices, reducing materials use and waste production, support for growth patterns that deemphasize reliance on cars, and development of more renewable energy sources for the city.