Climate Change

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment created the Climate Change Unit in December 2019 to lead an ambitious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect a livable climate.  The unit is responsible for conducting the statewide Greenhouse Gas Inventory, developing regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and engaging with stakeholders and communities responsible for conducting the statewide Greenhouse Gas Inventory, developing regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and engaging with stakeholders and communities Because health equity and environmental justice are top initiatives for the state, the unit will be keenly focused on working with communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and transitioning economies. 

Climate Change Unit Members
Unit members: Clay Clarke-Climate Change Unit Supervisor, Josh Korth-Lead Technical Analyst, Tim Taylor-Planning Analyst/Rules Specialist, Lauren McDonell-Outreach Planner, Megan McCarthy-Air Quality Planner

Colorado GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap

The Colorado Energy Office, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and other state agencies are working with a contractor, Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), to develop Colorado’s GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap. The Roadmap will establish the 2005 GHG baseline, assess the effects of 2019 policy changes on meeting the state’s GHG pollution targets, and evaluate potential pathways toward the state's GHG pollution reduction goals. Please share your thoughts on policies or other strategies that can help Colorado meet our GHG pollution reduction goals HERE

Climate Equity

Climate change is not just an environmental issue. It is also about PEOPLE and not everyone is affected equally. We know that people who are already dealing with multiple stressors are often hit the hardest by climate change. Coloradans are already feeling the impacts of climate change -- from hotter, drier summers to record-breaking fire seasons, to floods so destructive, it takes communities years to fully recover. People of color, Colorado’s sovereign Tribes, lower-income individuals, historically underrepresented groups, and those experiencing multiple environmental burdens and social factors, such as systemic racism, are often most severely impacted. The time for bold and fast-activating strategies to reduce greenhouse gases is now. Effective climate action will reduce harm to all Coloradans, including communities experiencing disproportionate impacts. At the same time, climate strategies have the potential to either worsen disparities or to actively promote equity. The state is committed to use the fight to mitigate climate change as an essential opportunity to support racial equity and economic justice.

Our call to action: Build equity and justice principles into Colorado's response to climate change

The state of Colorado is developing a Climate Equity Framework to help ensure that Colorado’s response to climate change is guided by principles of racial equity and economic justice. The framework will outline the state’s plan to identify and meaningfully engage with communities who are disproportionately impacted by climate change. The Climate Equity Framework has been developed with significant input from community members, organizations that serve and represent disproportionately impacted communities, local governments with climate equity and community engagement expertise, other state agencies, and EPA environmental justice experts. Input opportunities have ranged from large public listening sessions to small community conversations, as well as surveys and an email address for comments. Special attention has been given to making opportunities accessible by providing many meetings and materials in Spanish and offering meetings at different times of day.

The Climate Equity Framework will:

  • Provide key principles to help ensure the state’s response to climate change considers equity every step of the way,
  • Share best practices in outreach and engagement with marginalized communities,
  • Outline a plan for stakeholder engagement for greenhouse gas rulemakings,
  • Provide a set of questions to help consider potential equity impacts of implementing rules, and
  • Include a climate equity dataviewer component that will help focus and prioritize outreach and engagement efforts, as well as consider potential impacts by ranking and mapping layers of data sets that represent the criteria for disproportionately impacted communities defined by HB-19 1261.

The Climate Equity Framework has been developed with significant input from community members, organizations that serve and represent disproportionately impacted communities, local governments with climate equity and community engagement expertise, other state agencies, and EPA environmental justice experts. Input opportunities have ranged from large public listening sessions to small community conversations, as well as surveys and an email address for comments. Special attention has been given to making opportunities accessible by providing many meetings and materials in Spanish and offering meetings at different times of day.

People helped shape the Framework in the following ways:

  • An Advisory Committee and reviewers of equity, community engagement, and climate experts provided essential expertise and thought work to help shape the Framework.
  • Over 600 people participated in two listening sessions in English and Spanish and people who had never given public comment got to share their thoughts first.
  • Three community conversations were held to hear what community members care about most and how they like to engage.
  • The public and community partner organizations completed surveys on public meetings more accessible and useful, and
  • Written comments have and continue to come in by email and are carefully considered throughout the development of the framework.

We want to hear from the people of Colorado -- especially Black Coloradans, communities of color, indigenous people, families that are struggling to pay the bills, and communities dealing with multiple sources of pollution. Please share your thoughts on what you care most about in your community and how you would like to share your input on the state’s climate efforts.

Please take this 5-minute survey

Responda esta encuesta de 5 minutos (en español)

The public comment draft of the Climate Equity Framework will be shared by email in February. If you’re interested in reviewing it and would like to get updates on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Climate Equity work, and other air quality issues, please sign up here.

  • The Climate Equity Framework will be available for public review and comments in February 2021.
  • The final version will be posted in spring 2021.
  • The Framework principles are information upcoming Regulation 22 Rulemaking Hearing early stakeholder engagement.
  • Staff will continue to listen, learn, reflect, and refine the Framework with ongoing community input.

Community Support: (include:  Focus Points Family Resource Center and community based orgs, Colorado Peak Eligibility Tool, LEAP- applications beginning Nov, WAP, heating assistance through Energy Outreach CO)

Climate Equity Resources - Office of Health Equity Sweet Tools

Climate Change, Health, and Equity: A Guide For Local Health Departments 

 

Many thanks for all the hard work and contributions from our Climate Equity Advisory Committee!

Lizeth Chacon Founding Executive Director of Colorado's People’s Alliance
Cindy Chang

ED Groundwork Denver, partners with low-income communities to improve health, community

Corbin Darling Region 8 EPA Environmental Justice Coordinator
Sheila Davis Boulder County Public Health, Health disparities expert
Dr. Katie Dickinson

CO School of Public Health, Environmental justice and oil and gas development in CO

Adrienne Dorsey ED GRID Alternatives CO, bringing solar energy to low-income communities throughout CO
Sonrisa Lucero Sustainability Strategist for City and County of Denver
Maria Eisemann CEO Transport Policy Analyst, leading EV Equity study
Alex Helling CDPHE Supplemental Environmental Projects Coordinator, Environmental Justice Liaison to EPA
Megan Holcomb CO Water Conservation Board, Senior Climate Risk and Resilience Specialist
Luke Ilderton Energy Outreach CO, expanding solar, supporting advocacy platforms for vulnerable populations
Francie Jaffe City of Longmont, Water Conservation & Sustainability Specialist, community engagement expert
Heather Lazrus

Scientist at National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Principle Investigator of Rising Voices, promoting culturally diverse climate science between indigenous and non-indigenous scientists

Carly Macias RTD Sr. Transportation Planner, looks at social, economic, environmental benefits of FasTracks
Sophia Mayott-Guerrero Conservation Colorado, Communities & Justice Advocate - Denver
Zach Pierce Special Advisor on Climate and Energy to Governor Polis
Carmen Ramirez City of Longmont, Community & Neighborhood Resources Mgr, community engagement expert
Jason Swann (through October 2021) Founder of Rising Routes (improving access to outdoor rec for disinvested communities), Western Resource Advocates, Policy Analyst Fellow
Collin Tomb Boulder County Public Health, Business Sustainability Specialist

 

Colorado Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Form

The GHG reporting form is now available to be used for submitting annual GHG reports as required under Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) Regulation No. 22, Part A. The form should be used by entities subject to Colorado's GHG reporting requirements.

Mailing lists

Stay up-to-date on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's efforts to reduce GHGs, Climate Equity, and other air quality issues by signing up for e-mail updates.