Colorado, like most other states, is getting hotter and dryer. In May, 2021, NOAA released new data, showing Colorado Springs and Denver with the greatest increases.

In 2019, Governor Jared Polis began creating plans for Colorado to wean itself off fossil-fuel energy use, replacing it with renewable sources, and drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in the coming years. In May of that year, Polis signed into law the Climate Action Plan To Reduce Pollution. That and the “Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap” (CGGPRR), also issued by the governor, set goals of reducing emissions from 2005 levels by at least 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. “This is our plan for creating a pathway to 100 percent renewable energy in our state, creating good green jobs that can never be outsourced, and saving people money on electricity,” Governor Jared Polis said in a press release from 2019. “The roadmap is not just about a vision, but includes concrete steps that will help us reap the economic benefits of renewable energy, curb pollution of our air, and fight climate change.”

According to the EIA, by 2020 Colorado’s net generation from coal-fired power plants was already 36%, down from 68%  in 2010. During the same period, Colorado became the 7th natural gas-producing state but also tripled its renewables –led by wind and solar– accounting for 30% of the state’s total generation.

Polis’ legislation  demonstrates its particular concerns with air pollution and health by addressing transportation and buildings — the biggest consumer sectors in Colorado accounting for 29.3 % and 27.6 % of the state’s energy consumption respectively.–a direction bolstered by a sense that the state’s power sector is already headed in the right direction.

By June, 2021, Governor Polis had also 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 the 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. In 2021, NPR’s Steve Inskeep covered a story of a closing coal plant transitioning to a new “kind of renewable energy storage.” It would reuse the steam turbine, the transmission facilities and add a massive tank of salt. When melted, the salt would create steam to run the turbine and generate electricity. Thus, creating power when the grid needed it.

Colorado State University-Pueblo became the first campus in the state to reach net-zero efficiency last week when the school switched on its 23-acre solar array project.

Colorado is one of twenty four states, plus Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors, created in 2017, committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.


Aspen ski resort recognized for being eco-conscious

By Callie Zanandrie 02/08/23
There's a push for sustainability in recreation and many ski resorts are making changes to protect the environment they get to operate in. Change like renewable energy to run lifts, electric buses and smarter snowmaking.
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Report finds 72% decline in western bumblebees in Colorado

By Rob Harris 02/08/23
A new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows a 72% decline in western bumblebees in Colorado’s Southern Rocky Mountains since 1998. The report found that climate change, drought, and increased…
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Gov. Polis calls on state utility, energy agencies to help curb costs

By Lucas Brady Woods and Natalie Skowlund 02/07/23
Gov. Jared Polis says his administration is taking steps to cut Colorado’s utility bills following months of rising energy costs. Polis instructed the Public Utilities Commission and the Colorado Energy Office Monday to come up…
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To cut energy bills, Gov. Jared Polis says its time to rethink natural gas

By Sam Brasch 02/07/23
Gov. Jared Polis on Monday blamed volatile natural gas markets for shockingly high winter heating bills, announcing new plans to help expand access to financial assistance and insulate households from future price spikes.
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The “Law of the River” at the heart of the Colorado River crisis

By Hayley Smith and Ian James 02/03/23
It’s a crisis nearly 100 years in the making: Seven states — all reliant on a single mighty river as a vital source of water — failed to reach an agreement this week on how…
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$7.65M grant to extend study of how climate change shapes life at 10,000 feet

By Kelsey Simpkins 02/03/23
For more than 40 years, scientists from CU Boulder and institutions around the country have braved thin air and often frigid weather to collect samples and data from above 9,500 feet on CU Boulder’s highest…
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Wet winter won’t fix Colorado River woes

By Bob Henson 02/02/23
“One year of good flows doesn’t mean we have a trend,” noted one expert. The post Wet winter won’t fix Colorado River woes appeared first on Yale Climate Connections. ...
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Denver Bets on Rental Cars to Boost EV Adoption

By Sri Taylor 01/30/23
To help people transition to electric vehicles, what if you start with rental cars? That’s the theory of a collaboration between rental car company Hertz Global Holdings Inc. and the city of Denver.
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As the Colorado River shrinks, Washington prepares to spread the pain

By Christopher Flavelle 01/27/23
The seven states that rely on the river for water are not expected to reach a deal on cuts. It appears the Biden administration will have to impose reductions.
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In California’s Imperial Valley, farmers brace for a future with less Colorado River water

By Ian James 01/27/23
Just north of the California-Mexico border, the All-American Canal cuts across 80 miles of barren, dune-swept desert. Up to 200 feet wide and 20 feet deep, the canal delivers the single largest share of Colorado…
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The Colorado River is overused and shrinking. Inside the crisis transforming the Southwest

By Ian James and Molly Hennessy-Fiske 01/26/23
The Colorado River begins as melting snow, trickling from forested peaks and coursing in streams that gather in the meadows and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Like arteries, its major tributaries take shape across Colorado,…
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A river guide’s view of Lake Powell’s decline and the depths of the Colorado River crisis

By Ian James 01/26/23
Muddy water whizzed past as John Weisheit steered a motorboat upstream in the Colorado River. He revved the engine as the boat sped around a bend and up a riffle.
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Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions to build new solar plant in El Paso County, Colo.

Pike Solar project will provide clean energy to customers of Colorado Springs Utilities

In Colorado, oil firms fix leaky wells ahead of new rules

Northern Colorado's biggest oil producing region is emerging as a test case for energy companies hoping to tackle the industry's most pressing regulatory and environmental problems: capping old wells that leak climate-warming methane and other…

RFTA climate action planning project more than halfway complete

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is more than halfway through its climate action plan project. The inter-governmental transit agency created a four-phase project aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions within the agency’s regional bus operations. 

Big Batteries Come to Colorado

The 13,500 solar modules sandwiched by hillsides of sagebrush, pinyon and juniper near Glenwood Springs capture the eyes. It’s the four shipping containers of lithium-ion batteries, capable of five megawatts of storage, that will briefly…

Xcel Energy’s controversial Unaweep Canyon pumped-storage hydro project gets preliminary federal permit

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday accepted Xcel Energy’s application for a preliminary permit to study a pumped-storage hydropower project in Unaweep Canyon.

Colorado utility agrees to low-income solar program in nearly $100 million settlement

In a settlement agreement with the Environmental Justice Coalition, Xcel Energy agreed to boost equitable access to rooftop solar, community solar, and battery storage. It will set aside $33 million for environmental justice communities and…

Boulder’s Namaste Solar gives gift of sunshine to families in need

Over the holiday season, a Boulder renewable energy company joined with a major nonprofit organization to give 176 Colorado families the gift of sunshine — and help with keeping their lights on in the face…

Less funding for road expansion, billions for greener transportation projects possible with CDOT rule change

The Colorado Transportation Commission on Thursday approved a new rule that could divert billions of dollars to clean transportation projects in the coming decades. The rule will require the state Department of Transportation and the…

A Colorado Coal Plant Could Help Solve Renewable Energy’s Storage Problem

As coal plants shut down, many places face the loss of jobs and taxes. But in Colorado, one town hopes to transform a coal plant into a new kind of renewable energy storage.

Colorado uranium miner launches US’s only rare earths processing hub

Rare earths are in advanced electronics and renewable energy systems but there's no U.S. supply, creating a big opportunity for one of the nation's poorest areas, CEO says.

Colorado looks to be ahead of Biden’s called-for pace on renewable energy

Colorado is ahead of several states and the U.S. when it comes to renewable energy sources, with about two-thirds predicted to come from wind and solar by 2030. Energy experts say the speed at which…

Progress on the roadmap

Colorado has a goal to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2040—how far along the path are we, and is it still achievable?

Invenergy, Guzman Energy Partner on Colorado Solar Project

Invenergy and Guzman Energy, a Colorado-based wholesale power provider, have signed a 127 MW power purchase agreement for the Boutique Solar project, which is currently in development in Montezuma County, Colo.

Sen. John Hickenlooper: Renewable energy crucial to rural economic stability

Renewable energy sources will be crucial to the economic stability of rural Colorado, especially on the eastern Plains.

CSU-Pueblo first university in Colorado to reach net-zero efficiency

Colorado State University-Pueblo became the first campus in the state to reach net-zero efficiency last week when the school switched on its 23-acre solar array project.

Preparing for Climate Change in Colorado

This page provides an overview of the steps Colorado is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Colorado Climate Plan 2018 Update – State Level Policies and Strategies to Mitigate and Adapt

Colorado published its first Climate Plan in 2007, and advanced the plan with State Level Policies and Strategies to Mitigate and Adapt in 2015. This version, updated in 2018, incorporates additional commitments to climate action, as laid…

Bill HB19-126: Climate Action Plan To Reduce Pollution

Concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution, and, in connection therewith, establishing statewide greenhouse gas pollution reduction goals and making an appropriation.

City of Fort Collins Climate Action Plan

The goal of this document is to set clear and specific emission reduction goals for the State of Colorado, to identify opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and to promote state policy recommendations and actions…

Denver 80×50 Climate Action Plan

Denver will aim to meet the following sector specific goals necessary to achieve the 80x50 Climate Goal. These goals were created to ensure there is a clear glide path to 2050 and a strong emphasis…

Boulder’s Climate Commitment

Boulder's Climate Commitment is the official climate strategy framework for the city organization. It provides a vision for Boulder's future, sets goals and targets related to emissions reduction and sustainability and provides initial pathways to…

Colorado Climate Plan

The goal of this document is to set clear and specific emission reduction goals for the State of Colorado, to identify opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and to promote state policy recommendations and actions…

Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap

The goals of the Roadmap are to assess the sources of the state’s greenhouse gas pollution; to identify a series of policy actions and other steps the state can prioritize to further GHG pollution reduction…


Colorado State Profile and Energy Estimates

Colorado has abundant fossil fuel reserves and renewable energy resources. Its diverse geography and geology include the headwaters of major rivers; potential to develop new wind and solar energy; and substantial deposits of crude oil,…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Colorado

Between 2017 and 2019, Colorado experienced seven severe storms, one wildfire, and one drought. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Colorado Fires a Reminder That Wildfires Pose Threats to Life and Property Well Beyond California

“Damage caused by fire and smoke is covered under homeowners, renters and business insurance policies as well as under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy,” said Michael Barry, vice president, Media Relations at…

State-by-State: Colorado

Colorado is vulnerable to increasing heat, melting snowpack and glaciers, reduced water availability and wildfires

Lafayette Climate Bill of Rights

An ordinance of the city council of the city of Lafayette, Colorado, enacting the climate bill of rights and protections.

Colorado’s Climate and Colorado’s Health Report

Colorado’s changing climate poses health risks – now and into the future. Studies show that climate change and health are linked. Rising temperatures, polluted air and extreme weather, among the most impactful results of climate…

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

Climate change reports and resources

Four Ways the Climate Crisis is Impacting Colorado

Here are four major ways that residents of the Centennial State are seeing the impacts of climate change right now.

Impacts in Colorado

A partnership of University of Colorado research centers has collaborated on a great website to help you Learn More About Climate in Colorado.

350 Colorado

350 Colorado formed as an independent state affiliate of, a global organization building a movement to solve the climate crisis. Although we have been organizing events and growing since 2010, in 2013 we decided…

What Climate Change Means for Colorado

Colorado’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed one or two degrees (F) in the last century. Throughout the western United States, heat waves are becoming more common, snow is melting earlier in…


Environmental Defense Fund poll show Colorado worry on wildfire, climate change

By Joey Bunch   09/21/20  
Morning Consult has a new poll for the Environmental Defense Fund that indicates more than 3 out of 4 Coloradans are concerned climate change is driving more and bigger wildfires. “People in Colorado understand that…
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Diverse leadership is critical in fight for clean air, against climate change

By Jerry and Gabriel Otero   09/14/20  
Colorado is seeing the impacts of climate change in real time. Wildfires, drought, and soaring temperatures have again gripped the state this summer. Over 295,000 acres have burned and I-70, a lifeline of commerce, saw…
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The record September cold could be linked to climate change

By Cory Reppenhagen   09/11/20  
This week’s historic weather in Colorado was very unusual for September, but there is a scientific explanation for it -- and climate change may be at its roots. First, we have to look at the…
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Wildfires Have Burned Colorado’s Iconic Forests. Because Of Climate Change, Some Won’t Grow Back The Same

By Michael Elizabeth Sakas   09/01/20  
After a quick hike off a steep dirt road last week, away from any trails, Marin Chambers was right where she needed to be — in the middle of a large, high severity burn patch…
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Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…
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Colorado Has 3 Major Wildfires Burning

Tinder dry conditions and uncooperative weather has fire crews working hard to contain three separate fires on the western and northern sides of Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis visited the incident commands of the western wildfires…
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Xcel Energy unveils $100 million plan to drive more electric transportation

By Judith Kohler   08/12/20  
Colorado’s largest electric utility wants to help put 1.5 million more electric vehicles on the road
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This giant climate hot spot is robbing the West of its water

By Juliet Eilperin   08/07/20  
On New Year’s Day in 2018, Paul Kehmeier and his father drove up Grand Mesa until they got to the county line, 10,000 feet above sea level. Instead of the three to five feet of…
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Boulder County Wants Insurance Companies To Ditch Their Fossil Fuel Investments

By Grace Hood   02/14/20  
Boulder County Commissioners have made the decision to start to move away from insurance companies that invest in oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuels — becoming the first county in the U.S. to do…
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Colorado farmers fight to save their water and their community’s future

‘We can either wait on Mother Nature — or we can give it a shot ourselves.’...
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Colorado cooperative to hit clean energy goal a decade early

By Allen Best   08/27/19  
A Colorado cooperative last week announced that it could reach its 70% decarbonization goal by as early as next year, a decade ahead of the 2030 target announced less than a year ago.
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Colorado Revs Up, Adopts Zero-Emission Vehicle Program

By Simon Mui States across the country are stepping up to make clean cars cheaper and easier to find. Colorado's Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) voted...
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By the numbers: Colorado Zero Emission Vehicle Program will cut climate pollution and save Coloradans money

(This post was written by EDF  Attorney Laura Shields)  The numbers are in for Colorado’s proposed Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program – it will cut climate pollution and save Coloradans millions of dollars. This week,…
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In Colorado, electric vehicle ambitions meet extreme peaks and weather

By Allen Best   08/12/19  
As the state emerges as a leader in electric transportation, it’s grappling with unique challenges from its geography.
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Health Officials (Mostly) Not Waiting to Act on Climate

By Juanita Constible   07/09/19  
A new report released by EcoAdapt with the support of NRDC finds that public health departments in 16 U.S. states are building their capacity to deal with the myriad health harms of climate disruption—even if…
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‘It’s Raining Plastic’: Researchers Find Microscopic Fibers in Colorado Rain Samples

By Brett WaltonWhen Greg Wetherbee sat in front of the microscope recently, he was looking for fragments of metals or coal, particles that might indicate the source of airborne nitrogen pollution in Rocky Mountain National…
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Amid 19-Year Drought, States Sign Deal to Conserve Colorado River Water

By John Schwartz   03/19/19  
Seven Western states have agreed on a plan to manage the Colorado River amid a 19-year drought, voluntarily cutting their water use to prevent the federal government from imposing a mandatory squeeze on the supply.
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Colorado Senate gives final approval to oil and gas reform bill

By Nic Garcia   03/13/19  
The Colorado State Senate on Wednesday gave its final approval along party lines to a bill that will dramatically reform the way oil and gas businesses are regulated. The legislation, Senate Bill 181, is one…
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Colorado College: ‘We Are Still In’ Paris Climate Agreement

By Miriam Brown   03/08/19  
The United States may intend to pull out of the Paris Agreement in 2020, but Colorado College is saying “We Are Still In.”
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“Most sweeping oil and gas reforms” in Colorado history proposed by state legislators

By Judith Kohler   02/28/19  
Democratic leaders, Gov. Polis say broad proposal will address public’s concerns about safety, health.
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Meet the 12-year-old Denver activist taking politicians to task over climate change

By Jessica Kutz   02/23/19  
Every Friday since the beginning of this year, bundled in a burnt-orange puffy jacket, 12-year-old Haven Coleman has protested climate change in front of government buildings and business storefronts in Denver, Colorado.
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From Colorado to New Mexico to Kansas, new governors seek the next clean energy frontier

By Corey Cantor   02/13/19  
"We congratulate the winners of the recent midterm elections and look forward to working with them to build upon the wind-power success story in their states," said Tom Darin, senior director of western state policy…
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Boulder Hits Key Climate Commitment Milestone

The City of Boulder has achieved a 16 percent reduction in community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to a 2005 baseline, according to the city’s annual inventory . The analysis shows that Boulder has achieved…
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Closing Colorado Coal Would Save $2.5 Billion. A New Proposal Could Unlock The Coal-To-Clean Shift

By Silvio Marcacci   01/09/19  
Coal-fired generation is on the way out in America’s electricity sector, pushed further and further from profitability by clean energy economics. This dynamic is perhaps most visible in the Western United States – new research…
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Climate change clobbers Colorado and the West, unfurling fire, drought, insects and heat

By Bruce Finley   12/01/18  
The Colorado State Senate on Wednesday gave its final approval along party lines to a bill that will dramatically reform the way oil and gas businesses are regulated. The legislation, Senate Bill 181, is one…
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Boulder eyes new car fee to combat climate change

By Shay Castle   10/23/18  
City council on Tuesday weighed a possible new fee on cars, aimed at shoring up dwindling funds for financing Boulder's climate goals. The fee would theoretically be tied to fuel efficiency and the value of…
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Walden Harnesses The Power Of The Sun With Floating Solar Panels

By Matt Kroschel   10/19/18  
One small Colorado town is harnessing the power of the sun in a unique way, with floating solar panels.
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