Colorado Communities for Climate Action is a new coalition of local governments that advocates for state and federal policies to protect Colorado’s climate for current and future generations. In a year and a half since being launched in May 2016, CC4CA has already begun making a difference.
Representing one-eighth of all Coloradans.
Colorado Communities for Climate Action has grown to include 15 local governments, including five counties and nine municipalities, which together are home to more than one-eighth of Colorado’s population. Other local governments are considering joining CC4CA, too.
Advocating for policy priorities.
By unanimous agreement among the coalition’s members, CC4CA developed and adopted a policy agenda containing four general principles and 20 specific policy positions, and began advocating for them. The policy agenda calls for state government measures to support local climate protection actions, strengthen state climate programs, reduce heat-trapping emissions, promote clean energy technologies, and assist communities impacted by reduced fossil-fuel power production.
Building strategic relationships.
CC4CA met with and began building relationships with officials of Governor Hickenlooper’s administration, leaders and members of the General Assembly, state agency staff members, other advocacy organizations, and business interests.
Successful lobbying in the legislature.
The coalition contracted with a professional lobbying firm, Frontline Public Affairs, and with the firm’s assistance advanced CC4CA’s agenda in the Colorado General Assembly, through member testimony, personal contacts with legislators, and collaboration with other organizations.
Supporting 12 bills and opposing one, CC4CA in 2017:
- Helped win support for four bills which were enacted, extending local authority to fund Regional Transportation Authorities; extending for another decade a law requiring regulated electric utilities to meet demand reduction targets; requiring those utilities to disclose to their customers the sources and costs of the utilities’s electricity; and extending for another five years state funding for low-income energy assistance programs.
- Opposed a bill which was defeated, that would have eliminated current tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles.
- Supported other bills which passed in the House but died in the Senate. One of those bills, to set requirements for state government climate action plans, included a key provision reflecting CC4CA’s official policy priorities—that state climate plans include goals for reductions in heat-trapping emissions at least as stringent as the goals set by Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., in 2007.
Advocating for state executive branch actions.
CC4CA is advocating for more climate protection actions by the governor and state agencies. Among other actions, our coalition has:
- Supported the climate protection executive order Governor Hickenlooper announced in July 2017, and urged the state to take even more actions—to adopt a tough long-term goal of reducing statewide heat-trapping emissions by 80 percent by 2050, and to develop a plan of concrete policy actions that will be sufficient to achieve both the short-term goal announced by the governor and the additional long-term goal.
- Called on the Department of Public Health and Environment to undertake a new emissions inventory so we know how much more needs to be done to achieve the reductions needed to protect our climate.
Advocating for federal climate actions.
CC4CA has pushed back against efforts in the Trump administration and in Congress to roll back federal climate protection programs. Among the attempted policy retreats CC4CA has opposed are these:
- Proposals tucked into federal tax legislation to repeal the federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for purchase of an electric vehicle, and to undercut business investment and production tax credits for wind, solar, and geothermal energy.
- A move to weaken federal standards for emission reductions and fuel efficiency for new cars and trucks—standards which would achieve major emission reductions and also save the average Colorado family $2,700 in gasoline costs by 2030.
Establishing the coalition’s governance system.
CC4CA created a governance and committee structure to guide and facilitate coalition decision-making on matters concerning policy, advocacy, work plans, budgeting, and communication, and elected member-leaders to oversee each of these areas. Members have been and are fully engaged in organizational development and policy-setting through monthly Steering Committee meetings, two full-day retreats, and numerous subcommittee meetings on coalition actions and operations. Subject to direction from coalition members, CC4CA is administered on a day-to-day basis by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.
Click here to download this article as a pdf.