A press release from Conservation Colorado yesterday celebrates the passage of House Bill 19-1261, the Colorado Climate Action Plan legislation that commits the state to large reductions of greenhouse gas emissions–90% less than 2005 levels by 2050:
Today, the Colorado legislature voted on final passage of HB 19-1261, the Climate Action Plan To Reduce Pollution. Once signed, HB 19-1261 will:
Create a framework to tackle climate change by setting science-based goals to reduce carbon pollution, the underlying cause of climate change, of at least 26 percent by 2025, 50 percent by 2030, and 90 percent by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.
Direct the experts at the Air Quality Control Commission to create cost-effective regulations for the goals.
Ensure ample opportunity for public input on the best ways to meet the pollution limits in order to ensure a fair outcome for Coloradans across the state.
Coloradans are already seeing the negative impacts of climate change every day. It manifests as poor air quality affecting our health, extreme wildfires, disrupted growing seasons for agriculture, shorter ski seasons, and reduced river flows for rafting and fishing are changing how we live our lives and threatening things we love about our state. In fact, 62% of Coloradans – a full 12 points more than the next-highest Western state – say climate change is a serious problem.
We’ll reprint statements celebrating final passage of the Climate Action Plan from a number of local conservation and advocacy groups after the jump. But before that, we’d like you to take just a moment to consider the opposition to House Bill 19-1261 from Sen. Vicki Marble, putting the bookend on another memorable session for Colorado’s most headline-grabbing-and-not-in-a-good-way Republican Senator:
MARBLE: Is global warming a settled science? Is anything a settled science? [Pols emphasis] I don’t think so.
Between this and Sen. Ray Scott’s jubilation over “massive improvements in our climate” earlier this month, we can now say, as certainly as the global scientific community says about the reality of human-caused climate change, that Colorado Republicans are not credible on matters of basically any kind of science. Fortunately for those of you who expect laws to be made by lawmakers who are intellectually qualified to debate the subject matter of said laws, as of last November Republicans like Sens. Marble and Scott no longer make up a majority in the Colorado Senate.
For all the debate over the tenor of this mercifully concluding legislative session, and the acrimony against majority Democrats for having the audacity to keep their 2018 campaign promises, what’s been missing from the commentary is an acknowledgement of the ignorance that stalled progress in the upper chamber of Colorado’s legislature for the past four years under Republican control.
Here it is, folks. Anybody who wants to defend them has the floor.
Colorado groups responded to the bill’s passage from the House with the following statements:
“Make no mistake: this is a big deal. The Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution ensures that we are doing our part to reduce carbon pollution and leave a livable, healthy Colorado to our kids and grandkids. Thank you to the members of the House and Senate who stepped up to lead. We urge Governor Polis to act quickly and sign this bill into law.”
— Kelly Nordini, Executive Director, Conservation Colorado
“This critical legislation lays the foundation for Colorado to take meaningful action to address climate change. Here in Colorado we see the effects of climate change every day, from more frequent and intense wildfires, to severe flooding to unhealthy air quality and prolonged drought. This legislation puts us on course to cut greenhouse gases and preserve a healthy, livable climate for ourselves and our children.”
— Jon Goldin-Dubois, President, Western Resource Advocates
“Climate change is the pivotal challenge of our time. Colorado’s policy makers are meeting this urgent challenge head on with bold leadership to address our state’s dangerous climate pollution, and they’re doing it in a way that’s consistent with science while strengthening our economy.”
— Pam Kiely, Senior Director of Climate Regulatory Strategy, Environmental Defense Fund
“We are thrilled to see Colorado take such a big step forward in passing the Climate Action Plan,” said Carlos Fernandez, State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Colorado. “Climate change is an urgent problem that is already causing serious impacts in our state. HB 19-1261 will tackle the problem head-on by setting goals rooted in science to cut carbon pollution from every sector of our economy.”
— Carlos Fernández, State Director, The Nature Conservancy in Colorado
“Protect Our Winters commends the Colorado legislature for passing strong climate goals. This bill is immensely important for the future of snowsports and outdoor recreation in our state, which pumps $28 billion into Colorado‘s economy annually and suffers in the face of climate impacts, from a diminishing snowpack to increasing wildfires. We are proud our lawmakers recognize these detrimental impacts and their response is bold climate action.”
— Lindsay Bourgoine, Director of Policy & Advocacy, Protect Our Winters
“Young people are at the forefront of the movements against climate change. New Era engages tens of thousands of young voters across this state every year, and in every corner of Colorado, climate change looms large in the minds of these voters. In 2018, Colorado’s young people voted in droves, even outnumbering voters over 60. We turned out because we need action, especially when it comes to the issue of averting catastrophic climate change. HB 19-1261 sets ambitious, yet achievable pollution reduction targets and is exactly the kind of legislation my generation wants and needs.”
— Charley Olena, Advocacy Director, New Era Colorado
“Climate change has quickly become a public health crisis and a serious threat to the health of all Coloradans. Specifically the rapidly warming temperatures affect our cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems. Solving such a massive problem like climate change cannot be done overnight, but we can take the necessary steps now to ensure that our children have the opportunity to live healthier lives. We commend our state’s leaders for taking this critical step with the passage of HB 1261 in protecting the health of Coloradans today and for generations to come.”
— Kate Stigberg, Healthy Air and Water Colorado
“Putting a limit on carbon will improve our air quality and public health particularly those most vulnerable; Colorado’s children. This bill protects our air, our environment and our health while building on the economic success of the renewable energy sector by driving innovation and creating thousands of jobs that cannot be outsourced. Thank you to our state leadership for putting Colorado‘s children first as we fight against the impacts of the climate crisis.”
— Christine Berg, Moms Clean Air Force
“We’re proud of Colorado for taking a bold step toward reducing the environmental and economic impacts of carbon production and use in the state. This forward edge legislation acknowledges that there are trade-offs and commits the state to addressing the negative effects of the transition while not compromising on important environmental values. Well done!”
— Carol Hedges, Executive Director, Colorado Fiscal Institute
“Coloradans love our public lands, but as the seventh fastest warming state we’re already facing the impacts of a warming climate like increased drought and more severe wildfire seasons. We applaud Colorado’s leaders for tackling this threat head-on so that present and future generations can continue to enjoy our public lands, drink clean water and breathe clean air.”
— Jim Ramey, Colorado State Director, The Wilderness Society
“Colorado has an opportunity to advance climate policy that brings the tangible benefits of clean energy to Colorado‘s underserved communities: reduced air pollution, savings on electricity bills, and access to jobs in our state’s growing clean energy economy. We applaud the House’s passage of the Climate Action Plan today, especially the bill provisions that put equity, inclusion, and frontline communities at the center of Colorado‘s climate solutions.”
— Adrienne Dorsey, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Colorado
“Climate change is happening right now. We have a limited time window to act and prevent the worst disasters from happening. We need to cap our carbon emissions as specified in HB 19-1261 and show that we can protect our future while growing the economy and addressing environmental injustice issues at the same time. Thank you Colorado leaders for taking a giant step forward on the path of innovation, renewal and equity.”
— Indivisible Colorado Legislative Table