Colorado Legislature Passes Bill Strengthening State’s Climate Targets

EDF statement from Alex DeGolia, Director for U.S. Climate

May 10, 2023
Chandler Green, (803) 981-2211,

(Denver, CO — May 10, 2023) On Monday, the Colorado legislature approved SB 23-016 — a wide-ranging bill that strengthens Colorado’s commitment to cut statewide climate pollution beyond 2030. It would put new targets in law requiring economy-wide emissions cuts of at least 65% by 2035, 75% by 2040, 90% by 2045, all below 2005 levels, and strengthen the state’s 2050 target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

In 2019, Colorado established itself as a national climate leader by becoming the first state in the U.S. to put into statute both short- and long-term goals for cutting climate pollution. That law set reduction targets of at least 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050, all below 2005 levels. However, a state progress report released last year shows that Colorado is falling behind on the near-term climate targets already established in law. 

In passing SB 23-016, the legislature has reaffirmed the imperative to achieve rapid and sustained emissions reductions in line with what climate science tells us is necessary to avoid the most damaging impacts of the climate crisis. The bill makes Colorado the first state in the nation to put in place climate targets at regular intervals every five years, requiring the state to limit climate pollution on a steadily declining path to net-zero.  

“With this bill, state leaders are promising to step up Colorado’s climate fight and safeguard our communities for years to come,” said Alex DeGolia, Director for U.S. Climate at Environmental Defense Fund. “But to keep this promise, the state’s air pollution regulators must follow through on these bold commitments by adopting regulations that cut pollution to safer levels. Colorado now has more opportunity than ever before to make this ambition a reality, thanks to billions in federal climate and clean energy investments from the Inflation Reduction Act. 

“This bill acknowledges what scientific reports have been telling us for years: We need to slash the climate-warming pollution that’s worsening the wildfires and droughts we’re seeing today with both scale and speed. Charting a steady, declining course to net-zero emissions can get our state on the pathway to a safer climate future.” 

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