In May 2019, Colorado Governor Polis signed into law the Climate Action Plan To Reduce Pollution. That and the “Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap” (CGGPRR) issued by the governor set goals of reducing emissions from 2005 levels by at least 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.
The legislation’s title demonstrates that in Colorado great emphasis has been placed on climate change’s connection to air pollution, and thus to health. While electrical generation has been identified as the second most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions by a multi-agency state analysis, the (CGGPRR) devotes more time to addressing transportation and buildings — a direction bolstered by a sense that the state’s power sector is already headed in the right direction.
By June, 2021, Governor Polis signed a bipartisan Energy Transition bill into law that will provide $15 million to help workers and localities dependent on coal transition to a clean energy economy. The money will fund the Office of Just Transition, which was created in 2019 to aid workers and communities dependent on coal as utilities in the state shift toward clean energy. Colorado utilities are cutting their use of coal, in part due to legislation requiring the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, but also because of the falling cost of wind and solar. “The key to a truly just transition unlocks new opportunities in more places than ever before — not only to provide jobs, but to support schools, and improve systems that are critical to powering our communities,” Polis said at the bill’s signing.
Colorado is one of twenty four states, plus Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
CREDIT: John Muyskens