The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released its draft “Colorado Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2019 Including Projections to 2020 and 2030” on July 5th. That report provides actual statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data through 2015, and projected GHG emissions for 2020 and 2030. Some observations:
- Statewide GHG emissions in 2015 were 1% HIGHER than they were in 2005, the baseline year. By 2020, the CDPHE expects those emissions to drop slightly so that they are the SAME as they were in 2005.
- This performance contrasts sharply with that of two front range cities, Boulder and Fort Collins, which decreased their community-wide GHG emissions by 8 – 9% between 2005 and 2015, and are on track to meet their 2020 goals of reducing emissions 20% compared to 2005 levels.
- The CDPHE report fails to note that the State’s performance is on track to fall far short of the 2020 goal set by Governor Ritter, which is the same as the goals adopted by Boulder and Fort Collins for that year.
- A key difference between the State of Colorado and the Cities of Boulder and Fort Collins is that the two cities have had substantive climate action plans in place since the early 2000s, whereas the State has not.
- The CDPHE projects that statewide GHG emissions will drop 3% below 2005 levels by 2030. It fails to mention either of the goals for the coming decade set by HB19-1261, which was approved by the State legislature and signed into law by Governor Polis earlier this year: 26% GHG emissions reductions by 2025, and 50% GHG emissions reductions by 2030.
Clearly, there is an enormous gap between what Colorado’s GHG emissions will be under a “business as usual” scenario and what they should be if we are to achieve our 2025 and 2030 goals. We already know it’s possible to achieve the goals as shown by two of our cities but at the same time, “business as usual” and Colorado’s existing Climate Plan will not get us there. Colorado needs to take immediate bold action to make up for our shortfall on the 2020 goal and ensure we will meet the new goals for 2025 and 2030. The CCLC will do everything in its power to help Colorado meet or exceed its climate goals between now and the end of the next decade. We cannot wait any longer.