Colorado Association of Ski Towns Policy Statement Supporting Climate Action
Great communities rise to great challenges. Today, no challenge is more critical than global climate change. It reaches to the core of humanity's relationship with the Earth. It tests our capacity to make intelligent changes in our economy, policies and behaviors in the interest of all people and all generations.
Global climate change puts Colorado’s quality of life and resort economy at great risk. Some resorts have already experienced warming three times the global average over the past 25 years. Most ski resorts have already been forced to adapt to decreased snowfall and a shorter season. Multiple studies now project an end to the ski industry by the end of the century under a ‘business as usual’ scenario. The Colorado Association of Ski Towns member organizations, along with the State and Nation, must take immediate, comprehensive action against global warming, guided by these principles:
- Urgency: Global warming/climate change is real and it is happening now. Every year that we delay action to reduce emissions makes the problem more painful and more expensive - and makes the unavoidable consequences more severe. Local governments must lead by example in significantly reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to rally businesses and citizens into action.
- Effective Action: The scientific community now reports that significant GHG reductions should be made within the next 10 years, and communities should work to achieve a reduction in absolute GHG emissions by significant amounts by mid-century. Experience proves that voluntary measures alone cannot solve the problem. Aggressive government action, including mandates based on sound science, are imperative and must be implemented now.
- Opportunity: Mitigating global warming/climate change by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels offers the opportunity to create a new energy economy in Colorado that is cleaner, cheaper, healthier and more secure. This in turn will improve Colorado’s overall quality of life and help protect the lifestyles upon which we all thrive.
- State and National Solutions: The U.S. government, the State of Colorado and civil society must act now to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of the actions of other nations. Because greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change are global, however, the ultimate solutions also must be global. The U.S. must reengage constructively in the international process.