Mayor Suzanne Jones with John Reynolds and Ben Valley at a solar array owned by W.W. Reynolds Companies in Boulder.City of Boulder
Earlier this year, the City of Boulder came out with its 2017 Greenhouse Gas Inventory, and the results look pretty good: a 16-percent reduction in emissions compared to 2005 levels — a mark of progress reached three years earlier than expected.
The inventory followed a global protocol for tracking community emissions and collecting data within cities’ boundaries for the consumption of electricity, natural gas, vehicle petroleum fuel and waste generation. As of 2017, Boulder emits 1.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. This means that each resident, on average, is responsible for 14 metric tons per year. By 2050, Boulder wants to produce less than 400,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, or three metric tons per person, reducing emissions by 80 percent based on 2005 levels.
Reducing the City of Boulder’s greenhouse gas emissions has been a unified effort, according to Kimberlee Rankin, sustainability coordinator for the City of Boulder. From the City’s emissions reduction programs to community members stepping up and recycling or putting solar on their roofs, the pieces are coming together. But the largest factor in reaching the 16-percent reduction ahead of schedule, according to Rankin, has been Xcel Energy’s effort to add renewables to its grid.
“There is less carbon intensity associated with electricity consumption because the grid is getting cleaner,” she says.
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