Colorado Communities for Climate Action seeks support from Eagle
Colorado Communities for Climate Action, a coalition comprised of local governments working to fight climate change through legislation, is looking to Eagle for its membership. Within the valley, current local governments involved in Colorado Communities for Climate Action include Avon, Eagle County and Vail. Statewide, over a quarter of the Colorado population is represented by Colorado Communities for Climate Action. Eagle, knee-deep into its ambitious goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, was pitched by coalition membership during the Dec. 13 Town Council meeting.
Jacob Smith, executive director for Colorado Communities for Climate Action, said the “high-level coalition” would be thrilled should Eagle join. The coalition now involves 40 local governments — and whether it’s a small town or a small city or even a county, Smith said each member of the coalition has an equal voice.
With its member governments behind the coalition, the Colorado Communities for Climate Action “leverage(s) the voices and political influence of members in policy venues,” Smith said. The nonprofit works with the legislature and state agencies to implement plans and money “in ways that have a real impact on local governments and climate policy,” he said.
“The logic pulls some jurisdictions together,” Smith said. “If you can speak with one voice, you have a bigger impact as a result.”
Additionally, the coalition is also designed so that what governments put into it, such as membership dues, goes back to them as well. Smith said one way the coalition brings the impacts back to the local level is through workshops for municipalities on more sustainable climate practices.
Support Local Journalism
Smith shared various successes of the coalition with the Town Council and explained that “purple” communities, or “communities that are not historically viewed as being super leading edge on climate,” have made up the bulk of Colorado Communities for Climate Action’s growth in the past few years.
While shifts in politics are being seen statewide, Smith also said this “purple” growth is due to climate change’s imposing effects on Colorado communities.
“A lot of communities are just experiencing impacts of climate change in very real ways,” Smith said. “So, the jurisdictions that weren’t as alert to climate change are now really experiencing impacts on the ground and in ways that are impacting their community, their residents, their quality of life, their budget, all those things.”
The impacts of climate change to local communities is a motivation for the coalition to keep moving forward with its work, Smith said. He explained that if Eagle became a member of the coalition, the town’s specific climate concerns and impacts will be a priority of the coalition’s action.
However, should Eagle consider membership, Smith said the town’s policymakers should be supportive of the coalition’s carefully crafted policy statement. Should Colorado Communities for Climate Action represent Eagle in larger climate discussions, Smith said Eagle should understand what the coalition is all about and what its values are.
Smith explained that upon becoming members, Eagle would choose someone from the town to sit on the coalition board, giving the town more say and continual influence.