Concerning a Requirement to Include Measurable Goals that are Subject to Deadlines in Colorado’s Climate Action Plan
1. This bill would amend an existing law (Colorado Revised Statutes, 24-20-111) which requires the Governor to create a position for climate change matters. The duties of that position include both the “development and periodic update of a climate action plan” and submission of “an annual report” addressing statewide emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), among other items.
2. The first and only annual report addressing statewide GHG emissions released since the approval of CRS 24-20-111 was issued in October of 2014 and titled “Colorado Greenhouse Gas Inventory – 2014 Update.” That report does not make any reference to the only GHG emissions reduction goals ever established for Colorado.
a. Those goals were set forth by Governor Ritter in 2008 through Executive Order D 004 08, and are to reduce GHG emissions 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.
b. Although incomplete, the 2014 report projects that GHG emissions will actually RISE approximately 9% compared to 2005 levels by 2020.
3. The first climate action plan released since the approval of CRS 24-20-111 was issued in September of 2015 and titled “Colorado Climate Plan: State Level Policies and Strategies to Mitigate and Adapt.” That report makes only cursory references to the GHG emissions goals established by Governor Ritter, and does not propose any new goals.
4. House Bill 16-1004 would add the following requirements to the climate action plan updates and annual reports required by CRS 24-20-111:
a. The periodic climate action plan updates would need to include “measurable goals based on the best available science” that would both reduce Colorado’s GHG emissions and increase Colorado’s adaptive capability to respond to climate change. These goals would be subject to near-term, mid-term, and long-term deadlines.
b. The annual reports would need to include an analysis of the progress made in meeting the goals established in the climate action plan.
c. The annual reports would also need to include an estimate of the economic, social, and health impacts on low-income people in Colorado that would result from achieving the climate action plan goals.
i. There is a “revised fiscal note” in the amount of $150,000 associated with this last requirement.
Prepared by the Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate
P.O. Box 400, Fort Collins, CO 80522