When President Trump took the short-sighted and unwise action of backing the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, many of us recommitted to do our part to stop climate change. States and cities have long been at the forefront of the clean energy transition in the United States. So it was no surprise to us that so many states and local governments publicly affirmed their commitment to the science-based greenhouse gas reduction goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, declaring #WereStillIn. On July 11, 2017 Governor Hickenlooper joined a growing number of Governors in signing on to the U.S. Climate Alliance and recommitting to state climate action.
What exactly does this order do? Governor Hickenlooper’s Executive Order sets goals for the state to:
- Reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025;
- Reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector by 25 percent by 2025 and 35 percent by 2030 from 2012 levels; and• Achieve electricity savings of two percent of total electricity sales per year by 2020.
It also commits the state to:
- Maximize use of renewable energy without increasing costs to taxpayers;
- Create a statewide electric vehicle plan by January 1, 2018;
- Partner with local governments on locally-led climate resilience actions;
- Continue to green the state government’s own operations; and
- Offer support to communities impacted by the changing energy landscape.
As a whole, Governor Hickenlooper’s Executive Order sets Colorado on a course to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2025, exceeding the greenhouse gas reductions adopted in the Paris Climate Agreement with the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and thereby avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. The Governor’s action reasserts Colorado’s reputation as a leader in clean energy and innovation. Colorado demonstrates to the West and the world that states can reduce greenhouse gas pollution while keeping energy costs low, growing our economy, and building new clean energy sectors that support tens of thousands of jobs. Colorado has led in addressing climate change before with the state’s Renewable Energy Standard, the Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act and state methane rules—and now we will continue to show that the “Colorado way” protects our health, our environment and our economy.
WRA will continue to work to build a clean, carbon-free economy in the West. We applaud the goals established by Governor Hickenlooper, and now we turn to the concrete policy changes that will be necessary to achieve those goals. We will continue to oppose President Trump’s attacks on science and environmental quality. And we will continue to engage with other Governors, mayors, and elected leaders to move forward and act to protect our air, land, and water.
Please join us in working to solve the climate change problem by signing up for our email news and action alerts. Together, we can create a clean energy future that ensures our communities thrive in balance with nature.