Gov. Jared Polis has released a road map for reducing Colorado's greenhouse gas pollution by 90% before 2050. 

The Colorado Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction road map, released on Thursday, shows that the state is on the trajectory to achieve almost half of the emissions reductions needed to achieve its 2025 and 2023 goals.

The ultimate target is to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040, but state leaders are currently aiming to have emissions reduced by 26% in 2025 and by 50% five years later. 

"Today's newly released road map builds upon the State's incredible work over the past two years to achieve a healthier, cleaner Colorado," said Polis in a press conference Thursday afternoon. "This road map illustrates how Colorado can work to mitigate the climate challenges we are already facing to build a better future for all Coloradans"

Through the help of regional utility companies and legislation efforts, Polis said, the state is on track to move to renewable energy within the coming decades. 

The governor also highlighted several steps that will help the state achieve its goals by 2030 including:

  • Continue swift transition away from coal to renewable electricity
  • Make deep reductions in methane pollution from oil and gas development
  • Accelerate the shift to electric cars, trucks and buses
  • Make changes to transportation planning and investment and land use planning to encourage alternatives to driving
  • Increase building efficiency and electrification
  • Reduce methane waste from landfills, wastewater, and other sources
  • Ensure that disproportionately impacted Coloradans benefit from pollution reduction in their communities and new economic opportunities from clean energy.

"Although we made a lot of progress in the 2019 session by setting  ambitious emission reduction goals, we still have much work to do to put together the pieces of the road map and ensure we actually reach these targets," State Sen. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, said at the press conference. 

In September, the governor's office released a draft intended for public comment. Several changes were implemented as a result of those comments, including the addition of a climate equity framework, and giving voices to disadvantaged communities and to people of color.

"Climate change and its consequences don't affect all communities equally," said State Rep. Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora. "Communities of color are often the hardest hit by the devastating effects of a changing climate, and we in the legislature have worked hard to put equity at the forefront of our state's efforts to reduce emissions."

The update road map also has gives more specific plan about how the state will achieve a 70 million ton reduction by 2030 as part of House Bill 1261. 

These include rule making within the electricity sector by enforcing utilities companies to adopt clean energy plans and electric resource plans, incorporating coal plant retirements from utility commitments and evaluating mechanisms such as performance based regulation and other tools to create incentives for great reduction in emissions.

"Colorado's plan is ambitious but achievable," Polis said.

"Through our state's collective efforts, we can work to build our economy back stronger while protecting and preserving this beautiful state we call home."

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