In 2019, the Climate Action Plan established science-based goals to cut greenhouse gas pollution across Colorado’s economy and make sure necessary and ambitious steps are taken to address the climate crisis. The law vested authority with the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission to develop and adopt regulations that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution at least 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050, as compared to 2005 levels.
As Colorado approaches the second anniversary of the Climate Action Plan becoming law, it’s still unclear how the Polis administration plans to achieve our greenhouse gas reduction goals. With the release of the Governor’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Roadmap, we have sector-specific technology goals and a suite of high-level policy concepts intended to reduce emissions, in part by incentivizing voluntary action by polluters. Now that the Governor’s roadmap is complete, it is time to swiftly pivot from broad concepts to identifying the specific rules, regulations, and legislation the administration and the Air Quality Control Commission will adopt to ensure we achieve our science-based goals. We need a plan to get the work done. >>
To guarantee that Colorado meets its climate goals, we need quantifiable, enforceable, and equitable policies that pave a clear road to quickly reduce carbon pollution across our economy. This includes being prepared with a “back up plan” if voluntary incentives fail to deliver the substantial level of reductions we know are necessary. After all, we only get one chance to get this right. If Colorado does not do this, we will fall far short of achieving the goals in Colorado’s Climate Action Plan, and we will not have done our part to protect a stable, livable climate for our children and grandchildren.
We need real action, real policies, and real solutions now.
The Climate Action Plan’s goals were established to reduce greenhouse gas pollution enough to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius; the level scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Due to decades of inaction and half-measures, the task ahead of us is daunting. But we must act immediately and an ambition that matches the challenge we face – this is the last decade in which limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is possible.
Add Your Name
To the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission:
I’m writing today to ask you to take ambitious and immediate action to reduce Colorado’s climate pollution in line with the goals lawmakers set in Colorado’s Climate Action Plan, HB 19-1261.
Under currently planned policies, Colorado will exceed its emission reduction goals by roughly 30 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution in 2025 and 46 million metric tons of pollution in 2030.
We need to adopt more ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies – and we need to do it quickly.
Across Colorado, people are already experiencing the harmful impacts of climate change and greenhouse gas pollution, including higher rates of asthma attacks and other health conditions, as well as the economic impact of more severe droughts, wildfires, and floods. Eleven of the 15 largest wildfires in Colorado have happened over the past decade. Snowpack, which supplies Colorado with the majority of our water, declined by 41 percent in Colorado River Basin mountain ranges between 1982 and 2016. Colorado can’t afford to wait and let these impacts get even worse.
I urge you to take bold and immediate action to dramatically reduce Colorado’s climate pollution and ensure our state is on track to meet the goals established in HB 19-1261.