FOLBR - Friends Of the Lower Blue River

Sustainable Hiker - Beyond the Trail Series

Climate Plan Currently Falls Short

The 2019 Colorado Climate Action Plan signed by Governor Polis recently received an encouraging boost. About a month ago it was considered a draft Roadmap to reduce GHG (Greenhouse Gas) and Pollution. It outlines potential policies to achieve our States’ goal to reduce GHG by 25% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. 
While the development of a road map is encouraging, some believe it lacks clarity and definitive steps with a timeline. It also comes 18 months after the updated Climate Action Plan was signed by Governor Polis. 
“I don’t see anything new that the administration hasn’t already presented,” said Stacy Tellinghuisen, a Senior Climate Policy Analyst at Western Resource Advocates. “We need a sense of urgency.”
We will require additional action beyond current policy particularly since there are few firm regulatory mandates with a strict timeline attached to them. 

According to a Sept 30th article in Colorado Newsline, the Energy Office’s own roadmap analysis, led by consulting firm Energy + Environmental Economics, shows the state’s current policies are on track to reduce emissions 13% below benchmark levels by 2025 — only halfway to the target set by House Bill (HB-1261). 

“After a year of work, the Roadmap is missing the most essential element for progress: concrete regulatory policies, to be proposed swiftly, that taken together are fully capable of guaranteeing climate pollution goes down the requisite amounts,” Pam Kiely, Senior Director of Regulatory Strategy for the Environmental Defense Fund told Colorado Newsline.

Despite its shortcomings, I believe this roadmap will lead to substantive reductions, if there is robust shareholder engagement and a strict regulatory framework along with dynamic private sector market solutions. 

A healthy mix of market ingenuity and regulations in energy, transportation, forest and land use will lead to substantive GHG reductions, IF we move swiftly and at definitive scale.

Tom Koehler
Sustainable Hiker 

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