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Amid budget cuts, Denver to spend $3 million on climate change campaign

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(The Center Square)- While undergoing budget cuts due to the migrant crisis, the city of Denver is planning to spend $3 million on an ad firm to promote addressing climate change.

According to the agenda documents for the June 25 city council meeting, the multi-year contract between the city and Sukle Advertising & Design, Inc., a local, independent creative agency, will plan events and advertisements to “inject” climate change and promote its programs to residents.

The contract will run from April 1, 2024, through April 1, 2027.

The city’s Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency office referenced a Yale Program on Climate Change Communication in the contract, showing that 71% of Denver residents were very or somewhat worried about climate change. However, 64% of residents stated they rarely or never think about it.

The contract stated that the most “effective way to implement climate change mitigation behaviors” is through social norming and financial incentives.

Topics the advertisement agency will cover include but are not limited to:

Renewable Energy/Electrification/Energy Efficiency.Transportation.Resource Management.

A successful campaign, according to the document, is to establish a social norm in Denver so that people are taking climate action, creating trusted messengers to increase the discussions on climate change, tackling misinformation, and clarifying common misconceptions while utilizing behavior and climate science to push climate change mitigation efforts, so that residents “know that their tax dollars and the City and County of Denver are taking action on climate change.”

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston made the announcement earlier this year, warning of budget cuts across city services as the city’s expenses continued to skyrocket due to an estimated 40,000 migrants who had entered the city since December 2022. According to the city’s website, the city has spent over $71 million on migrant services.

Denver passed a ballot initiative on Nov. 3, 2020, that raised local sales and use tax by 0.25% and created the Climate Protection Fund of $40 million annually to combat climate change, according to the city’s website.

The city did not respond to an email seeking comment.

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