Colorado

Colorado has made significant progress on climate action in recent years. The state aims to achieve a 90% reduction in emissions and 100% clean energy by 2050.

Legislative Profile

Governor: Jared Polis (D)

House: Democratic majority

Senate: Democratic majority

U.S. Climate Alliance Member

Key Resources

Colorado State Energy Profile — U.S. EIA
Colorado Climate Change Portal – Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
Colorado Legal Profile — Lawyers for Good Government
Colorado Energy Policy Simulator — Energy Innovation and RMI
Colorado EJ Map — Mapping for Environmental Justice
Colorado Energy Policy Simulator Insights: Current Emissions Trajectory, 1.5°C Scenario — Energy Innovation

Emissions Reduction Targets

By 2025:

26%

By 2030:

50%

By 2050:

90%

All targets relative to 2005 levels

2019 GHG Emissions By Sector (%)

  • Commercial
  • Electric
  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
Source: EPA State Inventory Tool (SIT)

Use the + icons in each policy area below to explore climate policy that has been passed at the state level, with links to relevant legislation and trackers. Policies in gray have not yet been passed in this state.

Climate Governance & Equity

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Climate Governance

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Emissions Reduction Target

26% by 2025 | 50% by 2030 | 90% by 2050

Mandate Source

Mandatory – HB 19-1261 (2019)

Climate Action Plan

Climate Bureaucracy

Interagency Commissions/Task Forces

Air Pollution Control Division

Non-Governmental Advisory Bodies

Air Quality Control Commission

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

2005-2019 Greenhouse Gas Inventory (September 2021)

Mandate Source

SB19-096 (2019) and Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-7-140

Green Bank

Colorado Clean Energy Fund

Establishing Legislation

Lead by Example

ACEEE Score – 2 out of 2 points**

Public Fleet ZEV Requirements

Executive Order D 2022 106 (2022) – Requires that EVs are the default vehicle for all light-duty vehicle purchases by state agencies and departments

Equity

Environmental Justice Community Designation

Mandate Source

HB21-1266 (2021)

Definition

“Disproportionately impacted communities” are defined as communities where over 40% of households are low income, minority, or housing cost-burdened; those with a history of environmental racism; or those with persistent environmental health disparities.

Include race? Yes | Include income? Yes | Include pollution burden? Yes

State EJ Mapping Tools

EJ Community Benefit Requirement

SB 21-272 (2021) – At least 40% of renewable energy programs, incentives, and direct investments must benefit low-income customers and disproportionately impacted communities

EJ Bureaucracy

**The ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard analyzes the policies and programs states adopt to save energy in public sector buildings and transportation fleets. States can earn up to 2 points.

Adaptation & Resilience

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Governance and Planning

Governance Structures

Office Designation

Colorado Resiliency Office

HB 22-206 (2022) – Creates the Office of Climate Resilience

Task Force/Advisory Group

Colorado Resiliency Working Group

Cabinet Commissions and Committees

Adaptation and Resilience Plans

Action Plans

Colorado Climate Action Plan (2015)

Colorado Water Plan (2017)

Assessments

Frameworks

Colorado Resiliency Framework (2015)

Climate Hazard Mitigation Plans

Enhanced State Hazard Mitigation Plan (2018)
Colorado Drought Mitigation and Response Plan (2013)

Public Act 287 (2021) – Implementation of recommendations from the State Fire Commission
SB 22-206 (2022) – Requires the creation of a statewide climate preparedness roadmap

Solutions and Funding

Building Codes, Land Use, and Zoning

Built/Hard Infrastructure

SB 19-221 (2019) & HB 22-1316 (2022) – Water Conservation Board Construction Fund Project

Grid Resilience Measures

HB22-1013 (2022) – Microgrids for Community Resilience Grant Program

HB22-1249 (2022) – Electric Grid Resilience and Reliability Roadmap

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

HB 22-1151 (2022) – Creates the Turf Replacement Program to incentivize water-wise landscapes

HB 19-1050 (2019) – Promotes water efficient landscaping

State Funding

Development Funding

Disaster Relief Funding

HB22-1011 (2022) – Creates a state grant program for local governments that dedicate resources for wildfire mitigation
SB 21-221 (2021) – Funds projects under the forest restoration and wildfire risk mitigation grant program

Electricity

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Renewables and Energy Storage

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Target

80% by 2030 Relative to 2005 levels

Mandate Source

HB21-1266 (2021)

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Target

30% by 2020 (IOUs) | 10% or 20% for munis and coops depending on size | 100% clean energy by 2050 for utilities serving 500,000 or more customers

Legislation

SB 19-263 (2019)

Distributed Generation/Solar Carve-out

SPOT Components – 1 out of 5*

Net Metering

SPOT Components – 10 out of 11*

Energy Storage Standard

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Shared Renewables

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Grid and Utility Reform

Clean Energy Plan

Mandate Source

SB 19-236 (2019) – Requires regulated utilities to submit a Clean Energy Plan to reduce emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2030 and supply 100% clean energy by 2050

Grid Modernization Plan

The GridWise Alliance’s Grid Modernization Index (GMI) evaluates and ranks the status of grid modernization efforts across all 50 states and D.C.

50-state Ranking – 11th

Interconnection Standards

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Utility Green Power Option

SPOT Components – 4 out of 6*

New Utility Business Model Proceeding

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Buildings & Efficiency

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Building Energy Codes

Residential Codes

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Statewide code – No statewide code

Commercial Codes

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Statewide code – No statewide code

Stretch or Reach Codes

HB 22-1362 (2022) – Requires any municipality that adopts or updates building codes to also adopt a “zero carbon” code in 2030

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Efficiency Programs and Financing

Weatherization Programs

SPOT Components – 3 out of 4*

Energy Auditing Programs

Retrocommissioning Programs

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

SPOT Components – 6 out of 10*

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Standards and Market Mechanisms

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Building Performance Standard (BPS)

SB 21-1286 (2021) – Requires a building performance standard to meet GHG reduction targets of 7% by 2026 and 20% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline in energy benchmarking data

Appliance Performance Standard (APS)

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buildings Data Disclosure

Transportation

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Vehicle Standards and Incentives

Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandates

Colorado ZEV Program

EV Targets and Sales Requirements

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle (MHDVs) Sales Standards

In progress (Clean Truck Strategy being drafted)

EV Sales Requirements

Electric Vehicle Incentives

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Charging Infrastructure Incentives

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

State Planning and Investment

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Emissions Reduction Target

Established 2025, 2030, 2040, and 2050 Transportation Planning GHG Reduction Levels for each regional area, and new transportation projects cannot exceed these targets

Mandate Source

2 CCR 601-22 (2021), as required by SB 21-260 (2021)

Decarbonization Plan

EV and EV Charging Infrastructure Plans

EV Transit Bus Deployment

The ACEEE Transportation Electrification Scorecard analyzes the level of investment and policies states adopt to procure electric transit buses. States can earn up to 6 points.

ACEEE Score – 4 out of 6 points

Bicycle Friendly State

The League of American Bicyclists’ State Report Cards evaluate and rank the safety and efficiency of active transportation systems across all 50 states.

50-state Ranking – 6th

Agriculture

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Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture Governance

Mandate Source

Task Force Portal or Action Plan

Colorado Collaborative for Healthy Soils

Financial Incentives

HB 21-1181 (2021) – Agricultural Soil Health Program

HB 21-1242 (2021) – Creates an Agricultural Drought and Climate Resilience Office to establish incentive programs

Technical Assistance and Education Programs

HB 21-1181 (2021) – Agricultural Soil Health Program

Food Waste Bans and Targets

Industry, Materials, and Waste Management

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Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Regulations

HFC Regulations

5 CCR 1001-26 (2021)

Methane Regulations

HB 21-1266 (2021) – Requires a 60% reduction in emissions from oil and gas methane by 2030, relative to 2005 levels

2 CCR 404-1 (2020) – Requires oil and gas companies to find and fix methane leaks, and, where necessary, install technologies to limit or prevent emissions. Rules also require semiannual leak detection, tank controls, and performance standards for transmission

Regulation Number 7 (2021) – Requires frequent leak detection and repair (LDAR) and eliminates routine methane flaring during maintenance

SF6 Regulations

HB 21-1266 (2021) – Requires a 20% reduction from 2015 by 2030 in industrial and manufacturing emissions, including SF6 emissions

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buy Clean Requirements

AB 21-1303 (2021) – Public construction projects will have to meet clear environmental criteria for the use of seven common construction materials, such as cement, glass, and steel starting January 2024

SB 22-051 (2022) – Establishes a sales and use tax exemption for low-emission building materials, including green concrete, recycled steel and composite wood products

What are we missing? Let us know!

Last Updated June 2022