CC4CA fact sheet: Colorado lags the nation on reducing emissions

A new fact sheet by CC4CA draws on the latest government data to show that Colorado now lags behind the nation in reducing the largest share of heat-trapping emissions — carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use, which account for about three-quarters of all climate-changing pollution. The data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that in 2015 Colorado had reduced statewide carbon dioxide emissions by 5 percent below 2005 levels, while the nation as a whole had reduced those emissions by 11 percent. For emissions from electricity generation, Colorado’s were 10 percent lower, while national emissions were 20 percent lower. Clearly, Colorado can do more to reduce our contribution to climate change.

With respect to carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel use, this data shows that Colorado is not yet on track to meet the state’s official goal of reducing overall emissions by more than 26 percent by 2025, compared to 2005. That goal was set by Governor John Hickenlooper in a July 2017 executive order.

This data from EPA is limited to carbon dioxide emissions, and so does not cover other types of emissions, of which methane is the second most important. The EPA data covers calendar year 2015, so it is much more recent than the state government’s last inventory of statewide emissions, which covers only through 2010. But the state’s inventory also showed that as of 2010 Colorado lagged the nation in achieving emission reductions.

CC4CA believes that with all Colorado has to offer, from abundant wind and sun to a strong statewide conversation ethic and a burgeoning clean energy industry, we should be leading the nation in reducing emissions, not lagging.