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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Westminster formally joins the Compact of Colorado Communities

On Monday, Aug. 14, the Westminster City Council voted 6-1 on a resolution to formally join the Compact of Colorado Communities. The Compact of Colorado Communities was established earlier this spring to be a powerful tool for advancing climate change education, action, and policymaking in local governments statewide. The Compact focuses upon building capacity in critical decision-making roles through collaborative learning activities enabling its members to rapidly scale up and advance climate action planning at the local level.

Founded by Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron in collaboration with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Compact’s May 2017 launch event resulted in more than 30 Colorado cities and counties pledging to endorse joining the Compact to their elected leadership and governing bodies.

 “Colorado is already two degrees warmer than it was 30 years ago, and citizens and businesses throughout the state are already feeling the heat: reduced snowpack, more frequent fires, and devastating droughts threaten communities and livelihoods,” Kristen Taddonio, ACCO’s program director for the Compact.  “Fortunately, Westminster and other local governments in the Compact of Colorado Communities are taking bold countermeasures, while also pursuing good government strategies to save energy, reduce emissions and demonstrate leadership by example: a win-win for local economies and the environment.”

Membership in the Compact includes several participatory requirements.  Some of these include: assigning at least one elected official and staff to participate in the annual convening of the Compact; committing leadership and staff to participate in annual climate change training; establish and publicly announce a new aggressive climate action goal or initiative by 2019.

Compact membership includes several benefits including: training and technical support in developing community improvement programs to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, clean energy, and climate preparedness; facilitating peer learning and resource sharing; enhancing local governments’ capacity to address climate risks and opportunities; securing technical support and funding resources for implementation efforts; spurring job creation, improving public health; and advancing statewide resilience and preparedness. 

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