Colorado’s Climate Action Plan set nation-leading, science-based goals to cut greenhouse gas pollution across our economy, putting Colorado on a path to reduce harmful climate-changing emissions at least 26 percent by 2025, 50 percent by 2030, and 90 percent by 2050, as compared to 2005 levels.
But if Colorado only pursues current state policies aimed at reducing emissions, we will fall far short of achieving those goals. According to recent analysis, if Colorado continues with “business as usual,” we will exceed our emission reduction goals by roughly 30 million metric tons in 2025 and 46 million metric tons in 2030.
The Climate Action Plan’s goals were established to reflect the scientific consensus of what it will take to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and ensure we maintain a healthy, livable climate. The plan also requires Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission to develop draft rules by July, 2020, and we don’t have a second to waste. After all…
- Ten 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,
- Denver-Aurora ranks 12th on the American Lung Association’s list of most polluted cities for ozone pollution, which is exacerbated by climate change, and,
- The U.S. EPA recently downgraded Denver and other counties’ ozone status from “moderate” to “serious.”
We can’t afford to wait and let these impacts become even worse.
We’ve written a letter to Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission, the agency tasked with developing cost-effective regulations to meet the goals lawmakers set in HB 19-1261, asking them to take ambitious and immediate action to put us on a path to achieve our emission reduction goals.
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. Ten 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.