Soapbox: Keep Climate in Climate Action Plan

The Fort Collins Climate Action Plan (CAP) was adopted by our City 17 years ago. This intelligent, community-wide plan is achieving its goal of graduated reductions in the use of fossil-fuels that emit greenhouse gas and other pollutants, including health-damaging precursors of ozone.

Our community is making good progress toward the 2050 goal of carbon neutrality due to strong support by local residents and businesses, as demonstrated by their investment in energy-efficient appliances, their choice of renewable energy sources for their homes and businesses, and their use of public transportation. They understand that the CAP costs will be offset by long term economic savings to the community.

The League of Women Voters of Larimer County, a long-time supporter of CAP, was surprised when the City announced that it was “re-branding” Climate Action Plan to “Road to 2020: Forging Our Efficient Future.” The reason given for the change is that the word “climate” has become “politically charged”.  pineridge-natural-area-1596301_640

We believe that the re-branding is a misguided – and unnecessary– example of political correctness. The “re-branding” is misleading because it indicates that the program ends in 2020 and omits any mention of climate or air quality — the key purposes of the program.

We also believe that the “re-branding” has the unfortunate effect of inviting efforts to undermine the goals, metrics and timeline of CAP, even though the City has said that it does not intend to make substantive changes to the program.

Please join the League in telling the City Council that they had it right the first time: Climate Action Plan is a straightforward, accurate description of the program. Also, please tell the City that “climate” is not a dirty word to be withdrawn from public use. And, finally, please tell the City to remain true to the long-term planning, aims and goals set out in the Fort Collins Climate Action Plan.

This article, from LWVLC Spokesperson Sarah Pitts , is a part of our monthly commitment to information and advocacy in our community and reflects our partnership with The Coloradoan.  Watch for the monthly “Soapbox” in opinion section of The Coloradoan.

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