Website home about our city

Climate Protection

City of Fort Collins Image

The City of Fort Collins has received a 3-STAR Community Rating in the STAR Community Rating System - the only sustainability rating system that certifies sustainability data provided by cities and counties.


Climate Change Adaptation

Presidential Task Force on Climate Resilience and Built Systems Subgroup Preparedness


The President's Climate Preparedness and Resilience Task Force (Task Force) was convened to develop recommendations on how the federal government can better support local, state and tribal governments in achieving resilience through disaster preparedness, built systems, natural systems and agriculture, and community development and health.

The Task Force is charged with providing actionable strategies that can be implemented by Executive Order or through existing agency authorities which:

  1. Remove barriers and create incentives and otherwise encourage investments in resilience.
  2. Provide useful tools and information, including through intergovernmental coordination.
  3. Otherwise support state, local, and tribal preparedness for resilience to climate change.

The Built Systems Subgroup is soliciting input in developing recommendations specific to: water, transportation, energy, facilities, and coastal infrastructure in addition to program and agency administration.

Please consider contributing to this process with a brief response to the questions presented below with particular consideration to those actions that can be advanced in the short term and which will have the most impact.

Why do we need to prepare for a changing climate?

City of Fort Collins Image

While we must make concerted efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, historic emissions have and will continue to impact our climate. Climate change is an urgent challenge that requires us to develop, and leverage, extraordinary capacity for resilience and innovation across sectors. In 2012, throughout the nation there was record heat and drought. Locally we suffered record wildfires that impacted the Cache la Poudre watershed- a key source of water and pride for Fort Collins. In 2013, the Colorado Front Range experienced extreme flooding that killed people, destroyed homes, business and public infrastructure. Climate science indicates we should expect more of what we saw in the last two years in future.

Future climate impacts for our region could include:

  • Declines in snowpack
  • Earlier spring runoff
  • Greater likelihood for: severe storms, extended drought and severe wildfire
  • Increased frequency and severity of heat waves and ozone formation

The City of Fort Collins has been considering the impacts to climate change since 2008. Assessments of potential climate impacts include:

  • Vulnerability and risk assessments of key city services
  • Repeated scientific study of hydrology, water supply and water demand
  • Stormwater and floodplain management

Measures to reduce vulnerability could include:

  • Fold adaptation considerations into city planning and decision-making processes
  • Physical modifications to structures
  • Changing the way infrastructure is installed and operated to reflect changing conditions
  • Amending or implementing new codes and policies
  • Improved coordination, communication and response during extreme events
  • Participation in regional peer learning networks focused on adaptation strategies

Acting Locally and Globally

The City remains committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) through multiple strategies. Many mitigation and adaptation strategies offer benefits to both efforts. By mitigating emissions locally and globally, we can help prevent future climate impacts from becoming more severe. Go to to learn more about how you can help fight climate change and participate in a variety of city programs to improve your home or business.

Watch this video of presentations by city staff from Copenhagen and Fort Collins and hear the community discussion about greenhouse gas goals.

For more information, please view the Climate Preparedness and Resilience Task Force page.

Get the Skinny on ClimateWise

Learn about the City's Climate Wise program through this informative audio interview and blog feature in which Kathy Collier, program manager, speaks with Paul Wozniak, mid-day Host at Tri-102.5 FM.
Listen to the Interview


Working to transform downtown Fort Collins and CSU main campus into a net Zero Energy District through conservation, efficiency, renewable sources and smart technologies.
Find out more about FortZED

ClimateWise Helps Local Businesses and the Environment

A business engagement program that encourages voluntary greenhouse gas reductions by promoting energy and water efficiency, as well as solid waste and transportation reduction for Fort Collins businesses.
Find out more about ClimateWise

Utilities Home Efficiency Programs

Fort Collins electric customers can get a $60 home efficiency audits. Find out more about Utilities home efficiency programs

Utilities Business Programs

An integrated approach to efficiency for business owners, so the capital investments you make pay back through energy and water savings and reduced electric demand. Find out more about Utilities Business Program

Resilient Communities for America

Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat is one of 45 U.S. mayors and county officials who have committed to creating more resilient communities in response to growing national extreme weather and energy challenges. Read more

Colorado Climate Network

Fort Collins is an inaugural member of the Colorado Climate Network whose mission it is to support efforts by local governments and allied organizations in Colorado to reduce heat-trapping gases and to adapt to climate change. Read more

Southwest Climate Assessment

An excellent new compilation of the science of climate change and its impacts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah is now available. Learn more

Doubled Trouble: More Midwestern Extreme Storms


2008 Climate Action Plan

In choosing to embrace climate protection, Fort Collins has adopted the "No Regrets" approach already adopted by localities and corporations around the world. This approach entails making economically sound choices to curb greenhouse gas emissions while providing multiple benefits to the community and support for other existing community goals. For more information see

Fort Collins Communitywide Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals

Resolution 2008-051 (PDF) adopted by City Council in May 2008 established two greenhouse gas goals for the Fort Collins community, one near-term "intent" to reduce emissions:

  • Reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2020.
  • Reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2050

Energy Policy

One of the primary goals of the City of Fort Collins 2009 Energy Policy (PDF) is to reduce the City's carbon footprint 20% below 2005 levels by 2020, and 80% by 2050.


A free, voluntary City of Fort Collins program dedicated to helping local business and the environment. Through environmental assessments and creative solutions, the ClimateWise team helps businesses tackle modern-day business challenges that impact bottom lines and the environment.

Learn more about ClimateWise

Sustainable Purchasing

Sustainable purchasing takes into account the Triple Bottom Line of environmental, social and economic aspects. Find out what we're working on and learn how to do business with the City of Fort Collins

Additional Information

Climate Protection

Content about climate protection.

Contact Information

Lucinda Smith
Environmental Services