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A new climate dashboard and website that displays climate data actions has been launched by Larimer County’s Climate Smart Future Ready Initiative which also shows environmental and climate information for the region.

Climate change and other contributing factors are causing severe air quality non-attainment issues in Northern Colorado resulting in health impacts, some of which include asthma, and heart disease that are changing the quality of life along the front range.

The effects of a changing climate in Larimer County have been noticeable in recent years through more severe weather events throughout the year --- wildfires, tornadoes, lightning, more severe winter blizzards and storms, hail, and higher temperatures. The changes affect health, equity and the economy.

Larimer County and its community partners have developed a dashboard and website for the Climate Smart Future Ready 5-Year Living Action Plan. “The City of Fort Collins and Larimer County have a long history of working together on big issues, and addressing the climate crisis is no exception,” City of Fort Collins Chief Sustainability Officer Jacob Castillo said. “Hitting our climate goals will require smart collaboration and partnership across organizations and necessitate participation throughout our community. The approach we’re taking paves the way for robust community involvement in climate solutions and creates an opportunity to get involved in one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

The Climate Smart Future Ready initiative has three major focus areas: built environment, mobility, and natural environment, and is part of the Larimer County 2024 - 2028 Strategic Plan.

The Climate Smart and Future Ready initiative has advanced through its first stages including a framework of what climate change issues mean for Larimer County; and a community feedback stage to gather the impacts of climate change. The initiative is now in the stage of executing the plan.

The action plan involves partnerships in our community to perform the solutions needed to act. Larimer County currently has 10 departments and over 50 community partners involved in the plan.

“CSU is proud to be working with Larimer County on their Climate Smart and Future Ready planning, and we’re excited for the new website that makes goals and actionable steps accessible to partners and people who live and work here,” said CSU Forest and Natural Resource Policy Professor Courtney Schultz. “Success will depend on all of us being part of collective solutions, and this is an important step in helping us work together to address climate change in our community.”

Some action concepts include updating building codes for better energy efficiency and air quality, more electric cars, scooters, and e-bikes, improving transit systems, and implementing climate-resilient restoration projects on private land. Others include increased recycling, better use of our energy resources, and using renewable energy whenever possible. Still, others include xeriscaping with drought-tolerant plants and shrubs and planting more natural grasses. Landscape water can use up to 55% of residential water consumed in Colorado. 

Published on: 
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 1:46pm

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