Working to keep the West special

Colorado Local Resilience Project

In 2009, RMCO and other organizations launched a Colorado Climate Network to support local climate programs. The Network was in operation through 2017, after which it ceased operations, effectively replaced by Colorado Communities for Climate Action, a new, better-funded coalition of local governments that RMCO played a leading role in creating.

Of continuing interest is a major Network project, the Colorado Local Resilience Project, convened by CCN and the Colorado Municipal League. This was a project to develop an agenda of actions to be taken by the state and by local governments to improve the resilience of Colorado communities to climate-change-related risks. In the Local Resilience Project, 78 representatives of 30 local governments in Colorado and six other governmental and nonprofit entities active at the local level (such as local health departments and school districts) reached a consensus on six conclusions and 36 recommendations on what local governments can do, on their own and acting with others, to prepare for and address climate change impacts, and what they need from the state and federal governments and other sources to do so.

In short, the report calls on both local governments across Colorado and the state government to do more to assess and address climate-change-related risks, including more wildfires, more heat waves that cause illnesses and death, more extreme weather of all kinds including storms and floods, and more adverse effects on our forests and other ecosystems.

As the report says: "The report is a call for action, beginning with a call for more local governments to take action in their own communities to improve their local resilience. Even more, though, our conclusions and recommendations focus on what local governments can do by working together, and on the partnerships we need with the state and federal governments and others to be effective in addressing climate-related risks, which do not respect governmental boundaries. Collaborative, coordinated actions among local governments and other levels of government will be essential to make our communities resilient."

For more information:

  • The report of the Local Resilience Project is here.

  • A four-page summary of the report is here.

  • The news release announcing the report is here.

Most of the recommendations of the Local Resilience Project are still not yet fully implemented, and so remain still relevant.