What is the Climate Emergency Resolution and Why Does it Matter in Fort Collins?

Published - 2 August 2019

As residents of Fort Collins and surrounding areas, we all need to show up at the Fort Collins city council meeting on Tuesday, August 20 at 5pm for the rally and 6pm for public comment to show our support for passing the Climate Emergency Resolution, which we hope will inspire other communities to get more active in the face of climate chaos. Here’s the address: City Hall West, 300 LaPorte Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80521.

The evidence is overwhelming that, despite the fact that Fort Collins has an ambitious Climate Action Plan, the national and global preparation for climate breakdown is inadequate.

Photo courtesy of Janie Stein

By declaring a climate emergency, City Council will signal the urgency of creating the political will to …

• Mitigate the effects of climate chaos.

• Halt the loss of wildlife populations.

• Include indigenous and underrepresented populations’ voices in climate action planning.

• Educate the public about the climate emergency.

• Initiate a Climate Emergency Mobilization and a Just Transition effort worldwide.

• Confirm the City’s existing climate goals for 2030 and 2050, and establish review of those goals to ensure that they remain in alignment with the best available science.

• Quickly transition to a just, sustainable, fossil-free society.

View the proposed resolution here.

Who is Proposing this Resolution, and Why?

The Fort Collins Sustainability Group (FCSG) has been involved since 2005 in supporting the City’s Climate Action Planning process and urging the city both to meet and improve upon its climate goals.

Extinction Rebellion Fort Collins (XRFC) formed only a few months ago as a chapter of the worldwide XR movement, and they asked FCSG for help in working with the City Council to pass a Climate Emergency Resolution. 

The collaboration has been powerful. Combining their like-minded passion with FCSG’s skills and XR’s actions, the two groups worked with the Fort Collins City Council to create a Climate Emergency Resolution. The final step in the process is for City Council to actually pass the resolution on Aug. 20.

It hasn’t been easy to get this far, and it still isn’t a sure thing. Each step of the way, we must educate. We must show our political representatives how important it is to stay focused on climate solutions for the healthy future of our children and the planet. And the best way to do that is by showing up and speaking out. 

FCSG’s vision has always been that by setting an example of how to successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions, our community would encourage other cities, states, and national governments to do the same in order to address the climate crisis.

While FCSG still holds on to that vision, we need to acknowledge that so far our efforts – and the efforts of other cities, states, and national governments that have established greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and are making progress toward meeting them – have not been successful.  Global greenhouse gas emissions have been rising ever since 2005, and just last year, the U.S.’s greenhouse gas emissions began rising again after a period of decline.

Both the FCSG and XRFC believe that Fort Collins – together with other cities that have been leaders in addressing the climate crisis – has a special responsibility to declare a climate emergency.  Those who have been talking the talk and walking the walk – for decades now – need to issue a powerful call to others – including our federal government - to do their part.  We can’t solve the climate crisis by ourselves.

That’s why the FCSG and XRFC tare joining together to push for approval of the Climate Emergency Resolution at the August 20 city council meeting.

Photo courtesy of Extinction Rebellion Facebook Page