Fort Collins, CO – Yesterday, the long-anticipated bill to establish new climate goals for the State of Colorado was released by its cosponsors in the House and Senate. The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC), a broad coalition of 26 member organizations of which 350 Colorado is a member, supports efforts to address the climate crisis and calls on the General Assembly to adopt bolder climate goals than those currently proposed in the bill in order to be more consistent with a 66% chance of limiting the global average temperature rise no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius – the maximum recommended in the October 2018 Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to avoid the most dire climate impacts.
The bill, HB19-1261: ‘Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution‘, recognizes the importance of limiting the global average temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius over the pre-industrial average, as called for by the IPCC Report. The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals set by the bill are not consistent with that temperature rise limit, however. The current bill’s GHG emissions reduction goals are 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050, all compared to 2005 emissions levels. If these emissions reductions were achieved worldwide, the global average temperature increase by 2100 would be 2° Celsius, not 1.5° C, a difference that would result in significantly worse climate impacts, according to the IPCC report.
The CCLC calls for the 2030 emissions reduction goal to be set at 63% compared to 2005 levels, on a path toward net neutral GHG emissions by 2035. The 2025 goal currently included in the bill plus this more ambitious 2030 goal that the CCLC is recommending together would allow Colorado to more adequately begin doing its part to keep global temperature rise below 1.5C and address this planetary threat. The cuts recommended by the CCLC were developed in conjunction with Scott Denning, Monfort Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. If extended worldwide, these GHG reductions would be likely to prevent dangerous interference with the climate system.
HB19-1261 suggests that Colorado would exercise a leadership role by adopting the emissions reduction targets set forth in that bill. Our state needs to adopt bolder science-based goals that would establish Colorado as a true climate leader, for the sake of ourselves and future generations.
The Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate (CCLC) develops and advocates strategies for reducing Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions to levels supportive of a livable climate. There are currently 26 member organizations located throughout the State of Colorado. 350 Colorado is a member of CCLC.