Earlier this week Colorado became the latest state to join the US Climate Alliance, a group of states that have committed to reducing their emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed an executive order that commits the state to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Colorado is the latest state to join the alliance, which was formed shortly after President Donald Trump (R) announced that the US would pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The move has stirred controversy the world over and, indeed, across the US, as it is the only country to withdraw from the more than 170 nations that ratified the treaty in the first place. That’s despite evidence that the US already is on its way to meeting its targets under the agreement.
“Coloradans value clean air and clean water. Our strong economy is a reflection of how our exhilarating outdoors attracts young entrepreneurs and the talent they need for their businesses,” Hickenlooper said. “The vast majority of our residents, and indeed the country, expect us to help lead the way toward a clean and affordable energy future. In this process, we no doubt can address climate change while keeping a priority on household budgets.”
Under the executive order Hickenlooper committed Colorado to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions from the electric generation by 35 percent by 2030 from 2012 levels. In addition, he committed the state to achieve electricity savings of two percent of total electricity annually by 2020.
Hickenlooper also committed the state to work with utilities and electric cooperatives to increase the use of renewable energy without increasing costs to Coloradans. He also directed Colorado to create a statewide electric vehicle plan by Jan. 1, 2018.
The move by Hickenlooper drew praise from environmental and renewable energy advocates. "Governor Hickenlooper has taken a crucial step to move Colorado forward and stand up to the Trump Administration,” said NextGen Climate President Tom Steyer. “His leadership will help protect Coloradans' air and water and drive investment in good-paying clean energy jobs. Governors around the country should follow Governor Hickenlooper's lead and join the U.S. Climate Alliance."
"Thanks to Gov. Hickenlooper's leadership, Colorado now has the framework to meet the Paris climate goals and keep the state's clean energy economy growing,” said Susan Nedell, the Denver-based advocate for E2. “This sends a clear signal that Colorado is open for business for clean energy, and that's good news for the 62,000 Coloradans who now work in clean energy and for all of us who value clean air, clean water and a healthy climate."
With Hickenlooper’s action, 14 states, nearly 30 percent of all states have joined the Climate Alliance since it was launched by California, New York and Washington state on June 1. Under the alliance, the states are committing to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions between 26 percent and 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. Even more cities and companies have signified their commitment to the agreement.Tweet