Standing in a field surrounded by solar panels in Arvada on Thursday, Gov. Jared Polis celebrated the state’s progress on combating climate change.
Polis unveiled his plan to get Colorado to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. He signed seven new bills into law intended to limit the state’s contributions to global warming.
“What does that mean for every Coloradan?” Polis said. “It means cleaner air. We have an air quality crisis across the Denver metro area with significant health impacts. It means good, green jobs that will never be outsourced and aren't dependent on commodity prices. It means lower rates. New wind energy projects cost about 20 to 30 percent less than existing coal and even less than new coal.”
Action on climate change is urgent in Colorado, where industries like agriculture and winter sports rely so heavily on the climate, he said.
Still, 14 local governments in Colorado have clean energy goals more aggressive than the state’s, Polis said. Pueblo was the first city in Colorado to commit to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.
The plan Polis unveiled for climate action includes a mix of state legislation and executive actions. Bills passed near the end of the last legislative session achieved some of the steps Polis laid out.
That includes a bill directing the body that regulates electric utilities to take the social cost of carbon dioxide emissions into its decision-making process. Others expand access to communal solar arrays called "solar gardens" and set new standards for energy and water efficiency in appliances and plumbing fixtures sold in the state. The state will also have to collect more detailed long-term information on the state’s emission of climate-warming pollution.