Mayoral Terms End, but Climate Legacies Live on Forever: Recognizing Mayor Michael. B Hancock

Mayor Michael B. Hancock of Denver began his term in 2011 and will close this chapter in July of 2023. During this time he also served on the Climate Mayors steering committee in 2019. This leadership has set the stage for continued climate innovation in Denver now and in the future.

“As my time as Mayor of Denver comes to a close, I reflect with gratitude on the great opportunity to serve this incredible city and its people. It’s been an honor to work alongside fellow Climate Mayors to drive our collective mission of decarbonizing cities, strengthening environmental justice, and supporting the green transition. The best of Denver’s story is yet to be written, and I am excited to witness its next chapter as a proud resident and advocate for our beloved city.” – Former Mayor Michael B. Hancock

Mayor Hancock’s legacy often focused on making sustainability accessible to individuals within the community. The successes below showcase how sustainable living and policy making was woven into the fabric of a diversity of communities throughout his term. 

  • Announced the 2021 Climate Protection Fund, which allocated $57 million to climate investments 
  • Allocated rebates for energy efficient heating and cooling, covering up to 100% of the cost for low income households
  • Allocated funding for neighborhoods and small businesses to go green 
  • Oversaw the Energize Denver building performance ordinance, which has been hailed as the nation’s gold standard to drastically cut buildings’ reliance on fossil fuels
  • As of June 2023, the Climate Protection Fund (CPF) fund has committed $172 million in climate investments, and 60% of that directly benefits Denver’s most climate-vulnerable people and communities
  • Committed $18 million in community solar, with 30 percent of the power generated allocated to pay bills for Denver Public Schools families with lower incomes 
  • From 2008 to 2021, Denver reduced its GHG emissions by more than 30%
  • Doubled spending on climate across all agencies from 2021 to 2023 (in 2023’s budget, over $150M was dedicated to climate action)
  • 833 households have installed or reserved a heat pump through Climate Action Rebates
  • 159 Certifiably Green Denver businesses
  • Over 100 people enrolled in green workforce training programs
  • $300k given out in 2022 to 37 minority and/or women-owned small businesses to fund sustainability projects
  • Enacted an ordinance that requires all buildings of 25,000 or more square feet to record their energy usage and report publicly in a format that allows for comparison of energy performance among such buildings

The Climate Mayors organization thanks Mayor Hancock for his commitment to leading in Denver and creating a model for mayors across the U.S.. “We are deeply appreciative of Mayor Hancock’s advocacy for the health and prosperity of all Denver communities. From home electrification rebates to critical investments in solar power, Climate Mayors thanks Mayor Hancock for his inspirational leadership,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. The former Mayor put people first by prioritizing policy transformation and concrete funding support to ensure residents had equitable access to a more sustainable lifestyle. The ripple effect from the efforts in clean energy, transportation electrification, and green business will be felt for generations to come.


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Statement from Climate Mayors Supporting New White House Guidance on Direct Pay for Tax Credits in the Historic Inflation Reduction Act

June 14, 2023 – Today, President Biden released initial guidance on direct pay for tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act. The historic bill includes billions of dollars in provisions that help address the climate crisis and move the country towards a clean energy economy. Direct pay is a critical mechanism for tax exempt entities like non profit organizations, state, local and Tribal governments, public utilities, and rural electric cooperatives to gain access to clean energy tax credits for the first time. 

With transformative incentives such as tax credits now being made available through the bill, Climate Mayors is keen on ensuring cities have access to as much support as possible to continue decarbonizing, electrifying and adapting in the face of climate change.

Our member cities are thrilled to receive this guidance as they have ambitious plans for using the credits to support various programs and projects to lower energy costs for consumers, advance renewable energy deployment, and advance environmental justice. From electric vehicle charging infrastructure to solar power to widespread building electrification, these funds will be highly transformative for the speed and efficacy of the green transition at large. With this support and guidance from the White House, clean energy financing can be transformed and accelerated for cities across the country. Our Mayors aim to use direct pay to take climate action plans further and faster than ever.

Climate Mayors thanks the Biden administration for providing useful guidance on direct pay for Inflation Reduction Act tax credits and continuing to factor in public and stakeholder needs when creating guidance. This attention to accessibility ensures that cities and municipalities will be able to utilize and amplify investments to their fullest potential. Together, we will raise the bar on clean energy advancement across the nation.

“Once again, the Biden Administration has reinforced its commitment to meeting our nation’s climate goals,” said Madison Mayor and Climate Mayors Chair, Satya Rhodes-Conway. “With this new guidance, Climate Mayors members are prepared to meet the moment and deliver a greener, cleaner future. In Madison and across the country, local leaders are switching to renewable energy, investing in clean transportation, and creating good, green jobs in the process. We are grateful to the administration for its continued support in ensuring that cities can take full advantage of this historic climate funding.”

“The guidance shared today from the White House demonstrates that the Biden Administration continues to deliver to meet local needs,” said Phoenix Mayor and Climate Mayors Vice-Chair, Kate Gallego. “It is imperative for governments to incentivize the clean energy transition to ensure climate targets are met, and this administration has prioritized accessibility to maximize impact.”

“The Biden Administration and Inflation Reduction Act continue to break down barriers for local leaders to implement critical climate forward infrastructure,” said Cleveland Mayor and Climate Mayors Vice-Chair, Justin Bibb. “The direct pay guidance further uplifts Cleveland’s – and the nation’s – efforts in growing our clean energy economy by opening the doors to folks previously under the radar. A true good faith investment in equitable access across the board.”

“The guidance and support provided by the Biden Administration today is a crucial step in our continued progress toward a clean-powered, resilient future for Americans,” said Houston Mayor and Climate Mayors Chair Emeritus, Sylvester Turner. “Through direct pay, local leaders can supercharge clean energy projects in our communities to make impactful strides toward climate and clean energy goals.”


About Climate Mayors:

Climate Mayors is a bipartisan network that has mobilized more than 750 U.S. mayors since 2014, demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 46 states and nearly 60 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress. For more information, please visit our website and follow climate mayors on Twitter and LinkedIn. For media inquiries please contact