In the last several years, the city and county of Boulder have been working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. But it’s possible they’ve forgotten one significant source of carbon: the frozen dead guy who’s kept in a Tuff Shed in Nederland. Read more
Realizing that that it would be nearly impossible for Boulder to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals without forcing landlords to make energy-efficiency upgrades to rental properties, the city is considering the best way to create such a mandate.
And Boulder is looking to other cities and towns for useful examples. Some are the usual suspects (Berkeley and Burlington), but others are not so often on the same wavelength as Boulder, including Houston and Palm Desert.
The ultimate goal is to force the upgrades — but to simultaneously create a program that would make it easy and cheap for landlords to comply.
Boulder is seeking a unique way of mending the debate between landlords and tenants on energy-efficiency — a single program for homeowners to meet proposed new standards.
The new energy-efficiency recommendations for rental housing have caused an uproar in Boulder, but there’s a second, private-sector arm to the city’s greenhouse gas reduction effort in residential spaces that has received less attention, and will ultimately help property owners meet whatever new standards come to pass. Read more
It’s not likely that any amount of convincing, or educating, or outreaching will convince landlords to make energy-efficiency upgrades to their rental properties. (Since tenants are the ones that usually pay the utility bills, it’s not a particularly attractive investment.)
So in Boulder — where 57 percent of all housing is rental housing — the city is considering a set of rules that would mandate upgrades.
Without such rules, advocates argue, there’s no way Boulder will ever meet its goal of complying with the Kyoto Protocol. But landlords are not psyched.
The proposed rules would tie the upgrade requirements to the existing rental-license renewal process, which happens every four years. Landlords would have to show that they’ve made necessary upgrades — or possibly that they’ve purchased carbon offsets to buy them more time to make the upgrades — before their licenses would be renewed.
The maximum necessary investment per rental unit would also likely be capped, possibly based on the value of the property.
Landlords across the city are “very frustrated,” said Sheila Horton, executive director of the Boulder Area Rental Housing Association. Read more
Tomorrow night, Boulder’s city council is expected to pass a resolution expressing general support for the goals of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, also called COP15.
The city if Boulder is sending a delegation to Copenhagen to advocate on behalf of local governments and to talk about Boulder’s efforts to cut its own greenhouse gas emissions.
Environmentalists hope that world leaders will come to an agreement about how to tackle global carbon emissions at the conference, ultimately signing an accord that would pick up where the Kyoto Protocol left off.
The United States did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which would have obligated us the reduce our carbon emission by 7 percent below 1990 levels. But in 2002, the city of Boulder decided to try and meet the target on its own.
Aside from the Boulder delegation, scientists from the University of Colorado and other locals are headed to Copenhagen as well. If you’re going, BigGreenBoulder wants to know about it. E-mail Laura Snider at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a Coloradan and concerned about the environment, firstly, thanks for reading and, secondly, we’re worried that you may have come across a story recently that would lead you to believe that Denver is the worst polluter in the world.
We don’t blame you for coming to that conclusion, since a few sites, to which I am hesitant to link, have blared that as an attention-getting headline. And why not? What a great headline! DENVER BIGGEST POLLUTER IN THE WORLD!
Got your attention, right? You’re thinking, but surely there must be another city that pollutes more. Well, not according to science, say these blogs. Yes, they even link to a scientific study!
I wasn’t going to freak out about this until it was brought to my attention that it had spread to several sources — including some that you’d be likely to trust on this sort of thing. The first place that I saw it was on TheDailyGreen, which I usually like. Then I was sent links to similarly misleading stories/posts/releases on ScienceDaily and Huffington Post Denver (whose post is the least misleading of the three, but still a bit unclear; bonus points to the author, though, for simply making the point that regardless of Denver’s spot on the apocryphal list, there’s work to be done). Read more