Eagle County, Vail join climate advocacy group | VailDaily.com

Eagle County, Vail join climate advocacy group

Daily staff report
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EAGLE COUNTY — Vail and Eagle County have joined with seven other Colorado communities, from large to small and east to west, to push for more action to tackle climate change at the state and federal levels. Colorado Communities for Climate Action is this state’s first consortium to represent municipalities and counties in advocating state and federal actions providing the authorities with tools and policy frameworks that communities need to reduce heat-trapping emissions to meet local climate-protection goals and help stabilize our climate.

The nine local governments serving as the founding members of the coalition are Eagle County, the town of Vail, Boulder County and the cities of Fort Collins, Boulder, Golden and Aspen. Pitkin and San Miguel counties are also part of the group. On the day of its launch, the coalition already represents one-ninth of all Coloradans. Other local governments are considering joining the coalition.

Vail environmental sustainability manager Kristen Bertuglia said the group’s creation is groundbreaking.

“As climate change poses the most serious threat to our environment and economy, we also have an historic opportunity,” Bertuglia said. “Vail has adopted greenhouse gas emissions goals in effort to mitigate our environmental impact as a resort community. However, as communities collaborate and support policy change at local, state, and federal levels through the coalition, we will have much greater success in achieving more significant reductions in carbon.”

Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney agreed. “Our recently updated environmental policy statement includes a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from county operations 5 percent per year, to achieve a 50 percent reduction by 2030. Now, we need a better, more effective framework of state and federal climate policies that support our efforts. Our local actions should be part of a coordinated, overall approach to climate change.”

The coalition is guided by a steering committee comprised of representatives of member local governments and administered by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, a nonprofit group with 12 years of experience working with Colorado local governments on climate change policy. The coalition has retained Frontline Public Affairs to represent it before the Colorado General Assembly and other state and federal offices, and is reviewing proposals from law firms to represent it before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

For more information on the group, go to http://www.cc4ca.org.