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Climate Action

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Climate Action Plan Background

The City of Fort Collins is deeply committed to doing our part in addressing the global challenge of climate change and has been engaged on this issue since 1999 (when our first Climate Action Plan was completed).

In March of 2015 our City Council unanimously adopted the following accelerated climate action goals for our community:

  • 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020
  • 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2030
  • Carbon neutral by 2050

Accompanying these updated goals is the Climate Action Plan Framework, which sets out a series of high level strategies to achieving the 2020, 2030, and 2050 goals. Since the adoption of these goals, the City has operationalized this work by forming an internal organizational structure and Council supported increased investments to achieve the goals in the 2017-2018 budget cycle (see more information below). View our reports page to track our progress toward these goals.

In addition to what we can do to mitigate our own emissions, the City is also planning on addressing potential impacts from climate change. A few highlights from this effort include:

  • We have done vulnerability and risk assessments that have identified a number of areas where services could be impacted negatively. Fort Collins Utilities has been actively addressing vulnerabilities from flooding, wildfire and drought and has added infrastructure and put response plans in place to reduce risk.
  • In 2016, the City's Recreation Department piloted new procedures for responding to wildfire smoke and heat events. Because this department serves a broad audience across the community, managing the impacts to youth and seniors was particularly important. This successful pilot will be expanded to the City organization in 2017.
  • City staff has worked with Larimer County Emergency Management and the Health Department to increase awareness and better collaborate as extreme events and challenges emerge in Fort Collins.
  • Additionally, the City will be developing an organizational municipal plan in 2018 that formalizes goals and strategies as part of our commitment to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

September 2015 - City Council Approves CAP Ordinance

On September 8, 2015 City Council expressed support for staff's development of the 2020 Climate Action implementation plans. Council members reinforced a sense of urgency to develop the plans given a recent uptick in greenhouse gas emissions, but also requested that staff provide measurable outcomes.

The implementation plan includes seven strategic areas listed below:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Accelerated Alternative Energy Adoption
  • Multi-modal Planning and Development
  • Road to Zero Waste
  • Pilot Projects and District Scale Initiatives
  • Water and Land Use
  • The Climate Economy

Supporting these areas are a financing team and a team that will measure the community's success.

March 2016 – Review Draft Roadmap to Achieve 2020 Goals

On March 10, City Council held a Work Session to review the implementation options for achieving the City’s 2020 Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals of reducing emissions 20% below 2005 levels. Read the full packet of information provided to City Council, or watch the video to learn more about the exciting next steps the City is taking to achieve these goals.

April 2016 – City Council Approves CAP Ordinance

City Council agreed staff is heading in the right direction with the proposed initiatives to reach the City’s 2020 Climate Action Plan goals and asked staff to highlight simple explanations of proposed projects and identify costs down to the individual level.

  • Watch a brief video of Lindsay Ex, CAP Program Manager, and Tim McCollough, Light and Power Operations Manager for Fort Collins Utilities, describing the Council discussion.
  • Download the full packet of information provided to City Council, including more specific details on the initiatives and projected benefits and costs.


View the budget website to see how the City's implementation plan for Climate Action fits in with other priorities.