May 30, 2023

Prioritizing Climate Action – The CAP Recommendation Process

Ashley Dean, YVSC Collaborative Initiatives Manager

Over 65 individuals have collectively invested 1400 hours of their time to help our region implement the Routt County Climate Action Plan (CAP) by identifying actionable projects and initiatives that best drive actions across Energy, Waste, Transportation, Land Use and Economy sectors. At last week’s CAP Board meeting, the Board reviewed and approved for public comment 45 prioritized recommendations. These recommendations and the CAP implementation plan will be shared publicly at the Collaborative Public Open House June 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at CMC’s Allbright Auditorium, and we invite you to join us!

The Nine-Month CAP-Recommendation Process

In September 2022, five Working Groups composed of diverse, technical experts, began convening monthly to identify high impact recommendations needed to meet CAP carbon reduction goals and strategies in their respective sectors. With guidance from actions and tactics identified in the CAP, the first step was to identify regional climate policies, programs and initiatives currently underway. While some of these identified initiatives needed further support and development, others reflect the commitment Routt County has already made to climate action.

The next step was to perform a gap analysis. What strategies and actions in the Climate Action Plan were not being realized? And what important strategies and actions did the plan possibly miss, but are crucial to reaching Routt County’s climate goals? From there, each of the Working Groups developed lists of 15-20 recommendations.

To help the Working Groups prioritize recommendations and identify ‘big wins’ (strategies that would significantly contribute to carbon reduction), the groups set a 5-year time period for implementation and developed criteria for evaluating recommendations based on the following:

  • Greenhouse Gas Reduction Potential
  • Co-benefits
  • Implementation Cost
  • Political Barriers
  • Ease of Implementation

On April 27, all Working Group members convened to peer review priority recommendations. The meeting provided a valuable opportunity for Working Group members to learn from each other, identify synergies across the recommendations and provide constructive feedback. The meeting was also a chance to celebrate the achievements and commitment of the CAP Collaborative members to date.

With revised recommendations in hand, the Working Groups presented their findings to the CAP Board on May 26 for review before public comment. We are proud of the hard work voluntarily put in by our Working Group members, and we hope you will join us June 21 to lend your voice to the proposed recommendations and path forward as we move into the implementation phase of the Climate Action Plan.