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Colorado Elected Leaders and Advocates Keep Momentum Going to Move State Beyond Carbon and Accelerate Colorado’s Movement to 100% Clean Energy Economy

June 14, 2019

PRESS RELEASE – Denver, CO – Today, Colorado’s elected leaders and environmental advocates gathered to celebrate recent climate and clean energy policy successes and share enthusiasm for Michael Bloomberg’s recently announced Beyond Carbon campaign to keep up the momentum of cutting carbon and transitioning to 100% renewable energy to act on climate change in Colorado.

The Climate Action Plan to Reduce Carbon Pollution and six other pieces of legislation recently signed into law will help put Colorado on a path to reducing carbon pollution 90% by 2050. The Beyond Carbon campaign will be working with advocates in Colorado cities and communities for assistance in reaching those goals. Reaching Colorado’s carbon reduction goals will be a public process that carefully takes into consideration cost-effective regulations to meet those reduction targets from a variety of stakeholders.

“With these new policies Colorado will show the country and the world how we are going to act on climate,” said Senator Faith Winter. “Colorado has a true opportunity to boldly make this energy transition and we are committed to charting this path forward so that impacted workers across the state can make this shift a just transition for them, their families and their community. That work begins now.”

“Here in Colorado, we have chosen to take bold leadership to cut carbon, grow renewables and clean our air – for all of us,” stated Senator Angela Williams. “By taking these bold actions, we stand ready to bring relief from pollution to disadvantaged communities, and steps that will help our small businesses meet the challenge of cutting carbon. We look forward to having Beyond Carbon as a partner in Colorado to help us achieve these goals in all four corners of our state.”

“Climate change is not an issue we can pass off to the next generation – it is a threat that demands action today,” said State House Majority Leader Alec Garnett. “This year, the Legislature fought for policies that will protect our climate, chart a path for a clean energy economy that works for all Coloradans and make our state a leader in fighting climate change.”

“Colorado took unprecedented action this year to cut carbon pollution and ensure we provide a more sustainable climate for this and future generations,” said Jon Goldin-Dubois, President of Western Resource Advocates. “At a time when it’s more important than ever to take action on climate change, the Beyond Carbon campaign and continued leadership by our state lawmakers will help keep this momentum going in Colorado and around the region and enable us to take additional steps to protect our air, water, and environment. We look forward to keeping Colorado on the cutting edge of energy innovation and proactive action on climate.”

“Solving the climate crisis requires all hands on deck,” said Dan Grossman, Rocky Mountain Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). “With the leadership of Gov. Polis and our legislative climate champions Colorado is blazing the trail to a clean energy economy. Beyond Carbon’s commitment will enable leaders in Colorado and across the country to take the necessary next steps, such as reforming energy markets, electrifying the transportation sector and minimizing methane pollution from the oil and gas industry.”

“For years, activists and locals have worked to shift the way we produce energy away from dirty fossil fuels to clean, affordable and accessible renewable energy,” said Emily Gedeon, Conservation Director of the Colorado Sierra Club. “As the nation grapples with the reality of climate change, Colorado has proven its leadership in taking the next steps to reduce our carbon emissions, protect our environment and health, and reinvent power for all.”

“By acting on climate, we can rein in air pollutants like carbon, mercury and sulfur dioxide, dramatically reducing the rates of heart disease, asthma, respiratory diseases, and cancer — especially for children, seniors, and frontline communities,” said Juan Gallegos, Director of Protégete at Conservation Colorado. “Communities who are closer to the problem will be better positioned to lead the way in solving the problem of climate change, and we look forward to seeing the tools Beyond Carbon can bring to our work.”

“We are facing a carbon emissions crisis, but Colorado is well on its way to develop all the tools needed to cut carbon, keeping our economy strong and our air clean. We look forward to working with the Beyond Carbon campaign to advance policies that help this transition,” stated Noah Long, Senior Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

“In the face of federal inaction, Colorado has proven to be a leader in tackling the climate challenge head on by enacting transformational climate policies and ambitious clean energy goals. We are excited to partner with Beyond Carbon and other pioneering organizations to help accelerate this energy transition,” said Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute.

“The 27 towns, cities, and counties that make up our local government coalition know first-hand how damaging climate change is. Colorado families, businesses, and local communities are already experiencing serious and escalating impacts, harming our economy, our environment, and our quality of life,” said Anita Seitz, President of Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA) and Westminster Mayor Pro-Tem. “As local elected officials, we are committed to assertive local action and to strengthening climate policy statewide. Colorado’s governor and legislators accomplished a lot over the past five months, and we are fired up to keep the momentum going.”

“Our kids are most at risk of suffering the damaging effects of dirty air pollution such as asthma, developmental harm and increasing evidence even shows a connection to autism.  It’s also our children, more than anyone else, who will suffer the impacts of climate change,” said Jen Clanahan, Head Mom at Colorado Moms Know Best. “Increased drought, more and larger wildfires and damaged wildlands are not the future we want for our children.  As parents, it’s our number one job to protect our kids so we are thrilled to welcome Beyond Carbon to Colorado to help us protect our children, our public lands and our outdoor quality of life.

“Colorado has quickly become one of the leading states in the fight against carbon pollution and devastating climate change. Increasing the energy efficiency of homes, commercial buildings, vehicles and factories is a key component of Colorado’s strategy and we’re excited to work with Beyond Carbon to further these efforts,” said Howard Geller, Executive Director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP).

“Colorado is leading the nation with a bold commitment to reduce climate emissions and accelerate the shift to renewable energy. Our public lands should be a big part of the strategy,” said Jim Ramey, Colorado State Director for The Wilderness Society.  “On these shared lands we have tremendous opportunity to protect the places wildlife thrive while reducing pollutants in our air that fuel climate change and threaten our health. We should turn to public lands to support communities transitioning from dirty energy production by investing in wind, solar, and restoration jobs to make our lands healthy and resilient. We look forward to working with elected leaders and the Beyond Carbon campaign to make public lands part of the climate solution.”

About Beyond Carbon:

Beyond Carbon is the largest coordinated effort to tackle the climate crisis ever undertaken in the United States. Designed to accelerate climate action in U.S. states, cities, and organizations using proven advocacy, legal, and electoral strategies, Beyond Carbon is working to move the U.S. fully off of fossil fuels and drive progress in the clean energy transition by eliminating coal, slowing the rush to gas, and accelerating the adoption and of renewable energy across the country. By advocating for the passage of clean energy policies, electing climate-forward representatives at the state and local levels, and providing critical support to the grassroots climate movement, Beyond Carbon is ensuring the United States continues to make progress on the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. For more information, please visit beyondcarbon.org.