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The Single Greatest Opportunity for Tackling Climate Change?

Responsible for more than 70 percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, cities represent the single greatest opportunity for tackling climate change[i]. Therefore, it is inspiring to see cities such as Denver commit to reducing GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Last week, Anthesis attended the Sustainable Denver Summit, which brings together hundreds of leaders from across the city’s business, nonprofit and civic communities to develop and announce commitments for new and expanded initiatives that will help Denver achieve its ambitious 2020 sustainability goals. By 2020, the city has committed to reduce citywide emissions to below 1990 levels.

Top strategies to meet Denver’s climate goals include[ii]:

  • Improve Energy Efficiency in Buildings – Energy used in Denver buildings is the largest source of GHG emissions. By engaging stakeholders, the city aims to cut emissions in the building sector by 25 percent by 2020.
  • Lowering the Electricity Emissions Factor – Denver’s sole electricity provider, Xcel Energy, has committed to incorporate more renewable and low-carbon energy sources into its electricity portfolio. From 2005 to 2014, Xcel reduced its carbon emissions by 26 percent.
  • Strategic Land-Use and Transportation Development – Denver has set a 2020 goal to reduce single-occupant vehicle community travel to no more than 60 percent of all trips. Mass transit infrastructure, supporting sustainable growth and urban infill, and encouraging shifts in travel behavior will be essential topics.

In order to achieve these goals, city-business collaboration is critical to sustainable development. The City of Denver is well known for its progressive approach to sustainable technologies and renewable energy. That’s why a partnership with Panasonic to develop and deploy solutions and technologies that will help them meet their smart and sustainability goals made sense. Panasonic’s CityNOW approach, which is based on the company’s experience in smart city planning and integration around the world, aims to create more sustainable and smart cities by enhancing access to and development of community engagement, energy efficiency, water conservation, public safety, healthcare and other public services. [iii]

The Sustainable Denver Summit is one example of how great ideas can arise by creating platforms where communities can work together to remain sustainable. With a strong presence in the Denver area, Anthesis has a long experience in working with local businesses, nonprofits and agencies. If you would like to speak to us about city work, climate goals, or green technologies, please contact Anna Rengstedt.

[i] http://www.ghgprotocol.org/city-accounting
[ii] https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/environmental-health/environmental-quality/climate.html
[iii] http://shop.panasonic.com/about-us-latest-news-press-releases/ces2016-smart-city.html
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