The City and County of Denver has been recognized by global nonprofit charity CDP as one of 119 cities across the globe that is taking bold leadership on environmental action and transparency, despite the pressures of a challenging global economic situation. CDP runs the world’s disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to assess their environmental impact and drive the urgent action needed to address the climate crisis. Over 900 cities (939 in total) received a rating for their climate action from CDP in 2023. In 2023, just over one in ten cities scored by CDP (13% of such cities) received an A.
Denver’s recognition comes ahead of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference – or COP 28 – which will be held in Dubai starting November 30.
“We are so proud of Denver’s leadership in the fight against climate change,” said Mayor Mike Johnston. “We want to build a greener Denver that is a model for the rest of the country. This is a great acknowledgment of the work we have done, and we are excited to do far more in the years ahead.”
To score its A-List grade, among other actions, Denver discloses greenhouse gas emissions, climate programs and impact publicly through CDP, has a city-wide emissions inventory and has published a climate action plan.
Denver also earned its global climate “A-List” status by completing a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and creating a climate adaptation goal to demonstrate how the city will tackle climate hazards. Many A-List cities are also taking various other leadership actions, including political commitment from a city’s Mayor to tackle climate change.
The City and County of Denver’s climate programs and commitments include:
- Reducing pollution from transportation in Denver by offering its nationally leading e-bike program and committing millions of dollars to build out EV charging infrastructure
- Making buildings and homes more comfortable, efficient and competitive through the Energize Denver Benchmarking Program and Building Performance Standards. One in five buildings in Denver is already meeting its 2030 Energize Denver performance goals.
- Investing Denver’s Climate Protection Fund dollars into local clean energy at schools, recreation centers, and other community hubs through The Renewable Denver Community Solar program. This clean energy powers nearby buildings and generates enough extra energy to create energy bill credits that help Denver families in need save money.
- Expanding urban tree canopy through the Denver Community Tree Planting Initiative, which has funded neighborhood groups to plant 1,000 trees in heat-vulnerable neighborhoods since the beginning of 2022. A recent grant from the federal government will help expand the program for the next five years.
“Under Mayor Johnston’s leadership, Denver will continue its path to becoming a global climate leader,” said Elizabeth Babcock, Executive Director of Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency. “Our hope is that Denver’s commitments to urgent climate action and transparency will demonstrate the value of city leadership on a global stage.”