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Progress Is Not Perfection for Local Government Climate Goals

Holy Cross Energy courtesy photo

National Energy Efficiency Day is October 2. Local governments are making progress on their climate goals, but some say there is more to be done.

Aspen, Basalt, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County are working in partnership with the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) to set and reach goals to reduce carbon-emissions. Aspen’s reduction goal is 30 percent by 2020, Basalt’s is 25 percent by 2025 and Snowmass Village has a 20 percent reduction goal by 2020.

Mona Newton, the Executive Director of CORE, said communities are reducing emissions primarily through efficient energy use in commercial buildings and effective public transportation. 

Newton said municipalities are taking the right steps, but now need to work faster to reach their goals in time. 

“We know what a lot of the steps are. We know what we need to do and it takes leadership. It takes leadership at the top, it takes leadership at the grassroots to make this happen,” Newton said. 

As emissions have gone down, the economy and the number of residents have gone up. Without the current goals in place, the emissions would have likely continued to rise, CORE said in a press release. 

To ensure municipalities continue to progress towards their goals, Newton suggested regulating energy use in commercial buildings, increasing the use of electric vehicles and charging stations and creating net-zero energy code plans. 

“It’s going to take all of us to do what we can to make a difference and to achieve the goals within the time frame that we have set,” Newton said.