Glenwood Springs joins other cities to reduce global warming
At Glenwood Springs’ last City Council meeting of 2006, Mayor Bruce Christensen and fellow council members made an important decision to join many cities throughout the nation, both large and small, to reduce global warming pollutants through programs that provide economic and quality-of-life benefits, such as reduced energy bills, green space preservation, air quality improvements, reduced traffic congestion, improved transportation choices, and economic development and job creation through energy conservation and new energy technologies. Mayors across the nation have shown their support and commitment to reduce global warming pollutants at a municipal level by signing the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. The agreement got its start in Chicago back in June 2005 through passage of a resolution at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. Since then, 353 mayors have signed on to the agreement, including those of the cities of Glenwood Springs and Aspen. The agreement urges federal and state governments to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the target of reducing global warming pollution levels to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, including efforts to reduce the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate the development of clean, economical energy resources and fuel-efficient technologies such as conservation, methane recovery for energy generation, waste to energy, wind and solar energy, fuel cells, efficient motor vehicles, and biofuels. The agreement also urges the U.S. Congress to pass bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation that includes 1) clear timetables and emissions limits and 2) a flexible, market-based system of tradable allowances among emitting industries. Each mayor will strive to meet or exceed the international agreement to address climate disruption (Kyoto Protocol) for reducing global warming pollution by taking actions in our own operations and communities such as: 1. inventory global warming emissions in city operations and in the community, set reduction targets and create an action plan; 2. adopt and enforce land-use policies that reduce sprawl, preserve open space, and create compact, walkable urban communities; 3. promote transportation options such as bicycle trails, commute trip reduction programs, incentives for carpooling and public transit; 4. increase the use of clean, alternative energy by, for example, investing in “green tags,” advocating for the development of renewable energy resources, recovering landfill methane for energy production, and supporting the use of waste to energy technology; 5. make energy efficiency a priority through building code improvements, retrofitting city facilities with energy efficient lighting and urging employees to conserve energy and save money; 6. purchase only Energy Star equipment and appliances for city use; 7. practice and promote sustainable building practices using the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program or a similar system; 8. increase the average fuel efficiency of municipal fleet vehicles, reduce the number of vehicles, launch an employee education program including anti-idling messages, and convert diesel vehicles to bio-diesel; 9. evaluate opportunities to increase pump efficiency in water and wastewater systems and recover wastewater treatment methane for energy production; 10. increase recycling rates in city operations and in the community; 11. maintain healthy urban forests and promote tree planting to increase shading and to absorb CO2; and 12. help educate the public, schools, other jurisdictions, professional associations, business and industry about reducing global warming pollution. What a way to kick off the New Year! Thank you, Glenwood City Council, for taking the lead to reduce global warming pollution in Glenwood Springs and promoting a healthy and livable community in the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley. Sabrina Harris is transportation manager for the city of Glenwood Springs.
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