Polis to headline Net Zero Cities event

LOVELAND — Gov. Jared Polis will keynote the opening session of Net Zero Cities, a BizWest event that will examine sustainability issues from energy to waste.

Gov. Jared Polis

The event, to be conducted March 5 beginning at 8 a.m., will be at the Ranch event complex in east Loveland. A revival of an event last held in 2014, the agenda addresses the growing urgency of climate change, tapping into increased interest among cities and individuals seeking to aggressively reach sustainability goals such as zero waste and 100 percent renewable electricity.

Polis’ leadoff address during the breakfast session will likely explore his vision and strategies for Colorado using 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.

Other sessions during the all-day event include:

The Circular Economy — Several cities and counties in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado have targeted zero waste in the manufacture, use, storage and recycling of materials. Over time, the focus has shifted from simple recycling to reuse of materials, creating a “circular economy.” 

Electrifying Mobility — Colorado and other western states have embarked on campaigns to electrify vehicle fleets and to establish the infrastructure — charging stations for example — to support increased use of electric vehicles. What does this mean for communities, real estate investors, planners and builders? Micro-mobility solutions such as scooters fall into this category of sustainable practices that communities are adopting. 

Climate Change, Business & Industry — Once thought to be part of the problem of climate change, many industries and businesses within them are adopting renewable energy and onsite energy generation to help be part of the solution. Some have extended their reach into the supply chains that provide raw materials or deliver their products. This discussion will examine cutting-edge ideas already in use in the region.

Building Smart — Developers are facing increased demand for energy-smart buildings, and sometimes governments are forcing them to consider sustainable alternatives. What are the challenges and benefits of building more energy-efficient structures? 

The Growing Urgency — The United Nations Environment Program’s Emissions Gap Report indicates that even with current commitments under the Paris Climate Accords, temperatures are expected to increase by 3.2 degrees Celsius, creating even more wider-ranging and more-destructive climate impacts. Keynote speaker Peter Backlund, associate director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, will speak over lunch about what needs to happen to address the problem.

Reliability in a Net-Zero World — As utilities in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado shift toward renewables with aggressive goals to make wind and solar power a larger part of the mix, commercial clients in particular worry about reliability of the power grid. This session will examine how utilities are designing systems to alleviate concerns about reliability.

Information about the event and ticket availability can be found here. Early bird tickets are $69.49.


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