The Jeffco Commissioners voted 2-1 on Sept. 14 to pass a resolution acknowledging the nation’s global climate crisis and committing the county to taking certain local actions to help address the …
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The Jeffco Commissioners voted 2-1 on Sept. 14 to pass a resolution acknowledging the nation’s global climate crisis and committing the county to taking certain local actions to help address the crisis, including implementing a climate action plan and a target for reducing countywide greenhouse gas emissions.
Commissioners Casey Tighe and Lesley Dahlkemper, both Democrats, voted for the resolution while Commissioner Libby Szabo, a Republican, voted against it.
The resolution declares addressing climate change to be a critical priority for Jefferson County and commits the county to ensuring the county’s actions remain in alignment with the most current scientific findings regarding climate change.
It also commits the county to developing a Climate Action Plan, which it describes as a strategic planning process for developing goals, policies and programs to reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The resolution also commits the county to undertaking the organization Local Governments for Sustainability’s Climate Cohort to reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions throughout the community. It outlines several steps the county will take to do so, including conducting a county greenhouse gas inventory and forecast and establishing targets for reducing greenhouse gases and adopting renewable energy.
Szabo said she decided to vote against the resolution because she felt the information presented in support of it by the Jeffco Sustainability Commission only presented “one side of the argument on climate control and climate change.”
She also expressed concern about the impact the steps outlined in the resolution could have on poorer Jeffco residents by resulting in increased costs for energy and said she wanted to see a resolution tailored more specifically to Jeffco as the current one was committing Jeffco to taking steps that other communities would not take.“This resolution cannot work if the rest of the world is not changing its behaviors,” she said. “Jefferson County cannot carry the burden of the world’s behaviors. I would rather see a resolution for what Jeffco can actually do.”
Tighe, however, argued that he felt that it is possible to make clean energy affordable and said the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden could play a part in that solution.
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