Conservation Groups Statement on Release of Governor Polis’ Climate Roadmap

DENVER – Conservation Colorado, Western Resource Advocates and the Environmental Defense Fund today commented on the release of Governor Jared Polis’ “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap.”

“Governor Polis’ Roadmap release is a critical moment for climate action in our state. The governor ran and won on a platform of bold climate action. There are some good ideas here with real opportunities but for Governor Polis’ climate roadmap to have his ‘boldly forward’ stamp, verifiable pollution cuts need to come together with specific and equitable policies and deadlines – as we’ve seen from other governors. The science and the urgency are clear on what it will take to leave a legacy for our children.”
– Kelly Nordini, Executive Director of Conservation Colorado

“Now that Governor Polis’ Roadmap is complete, it’s time for Colorado to quickly pivot to preparing an actionable plan and timetable to adopt specific policies. We are far behind where we need to be in order to prevent the worst impacts of climate change in Colorado. To guarantee Colorado meets its science-based climate goals and does its part to confront the climate crisis, the Air Quality Control Commission must immediately adopt a package of quantifiable, enforceable, and equitable policies that reduce carbon pollution across our economy. The administration must build on its aspiration and put forward real, actionable rules. WRA will continue to work with the administration, regulatory agencies, and lawmakers to ensure Colorado pursues climate policies that are of sufficient strength and stringency to preserve a healthy, livable climate.”
– Stacy Tellinghuisen, senior climate policy analyst at Western Resource Advocates

“The newly-released Roadmap helpfully highlights the significant changes needed across Colorado’s economy—such as accelerated deployment of new clean technology —in order to hit the science-based pollution reduction requirements in state statute. However, 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 amount while simultaneously addressing adverse pollution impacts on disproportionately impacted communities.”
– Pam Kiely, sr. director of regulatory strategy, US Climate, at the Environmental Defense Fund

Coloradans — in the midst of a global health crisis and on the heels of our worst wildfire season ever — overwhelmingly want climate leadership, as we’ve seen in polling that shows 71 percent of Coloradans support swift action on climate this year that ensures the state hits its pollution reduction goals. And a September poll from the Environmental Defense Fund found that a majority of Colorado voters – regardless of party affiliation – are concerned about the impacts of climate change.

Colorado’s Climate Action Plan, which Gov. Polis signed into law on May 30, 2019, established greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements in line with scientific recommendations of what will be required to avoid the worst effects of a changing climate. The law requires the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) to propose and adopt timely regulations that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution at least 26 percent by 2025, 50 percent by 2030, and 90 percent by 2050, as compared to 2005 levels. Swift near-term reductions matter: if Colorado fails to meet its 2025 target, it will be much more difficult to achieve its subsequent 2030 and 2050 goals, because deeper and faster emission reductions will be required in order to limit warming and avoid the most devastating effects of climate change.