FOLBR - Friends Of the Lower Blue River

Sustainable Hiker - Beyond the Trail Series

Updated Comprehensive Climate Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Colorado 50% by 2030

Governor Jared Polis has released the second version of the state's climate action plan to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution in half by 2030, and make progress toward net-zero GHG pollution in Colorado by 2050. First released in 2021, the original Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap (‘Roadmap’) laid out a set of near-term commitments to reduce emissions across economic sectors. Having completed more than 95% of the near-term actions from the original Roadmap, "Roadmap 2.0" updates Colorado’s emissions forecast and lays out a new set of bold actions to save Coloradans money and continue making progress toward a clean energy future.

According to Governor Polis, “Colorado has been a national model in bold climate action that improves air quality and protects our precious resources and open spaces. This updated, comprehensive Roadmap continues pushing our state forward in ways that will save Coloradans money, protect our air and water, and ensure a more sustainable future for Colorado.”

The Roadmap identifies cost-effective strategies to reduce emissions from the largest emissions sources. The first Roadmap led to significant action during the last three years. Governor Polis signed dozens of bills that resulted from this plan, creating new grant programs and incentives, establishing new regulatory processes, and giving state agencies the resources and direction to act. Based on implementation of the first roadmap, as well as significant federal investment from two federal laws signed by President Biden and supported by the majority of Colorado’s Congressional delegation, the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Colorado is more than 80% of the way to meeting its statutory goal of a 50% emissions reduction by 2030 from 2005 levels. This new plan builds on that success.

Roadmap 2.0 includes a new section on Strategic Growth, which identifies strategies to support sustainable housing development, expand access to more transportation options, and preserve agricultural and natural lands. Locating new, energy-efficient, affordable homes near schools, businesses, and workplaces, while increasing access to multimodal transportation, such as public transit, walking, and biking, is both essential to achieve Colorado’s climate goals and a top priority for the hundreds of Coloradans who provided input.

The near-term actions include legislation to support climate friendly strategic growth; policies to achieve 100% clean electricity generation by 2040; regulatory policies to reduce emissions from oil and gas, landfills, and coal mines; and a host of state agency actions to support emissions reductions from the built environment. The proposed actions will all get underway in 2024, 2025, or 2026. The Polis Administration will track and regularly report progress on these actions.

Beyond GHG emissions reductions, these near-term actions will improve air quality and create jobs. Reductions in co-pollutant emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter, are expected to result in about 500 avoided deaths and more than 10,000 avoided asthma attacks between now and 2050. The State also expects these actions to create more than 95,000 new jobs over the same period.

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