Climate Action in Colorado

RMCO works to bring about climate action in Colorado — both actions to reduce emissions of heat-trapping pollution and to prepare for the challenges we face as the climate changes.

Many of these efforts began with the recommendations of the stakeholder panel we convened as part of our pioneering 2005-2007 Colorado Climate Project (see the next page), the first and still the only such effort in the nation in which a nonprofit organization led in developing a comprehensive agenda for state government and statewide climate action.

Colorado Communities for Climate Action

Currently, our most important efforts in Colorado to protect the climate for this and future generations are through Colorado Communities for Climate Action, a program RMCO supports of counties and municipalities that have banded together to advocate for more state and federal actions to reduce heat-trapping emissions. See that program’s separate website.

Starting just in 2016, CC4CA has already grown to have 32 local government members, and expects to continue adding new members. Those local governments work together and with RMCO and a team of other professional consultants to bring about emission reduction actions at the state and federal levels. CC4A initially was a program of RMCO, but beginning in 2020 the coalition has begun operating as its own organization, an association of local governments organized under Colorado law. RMCO, however, continues providing the same expert and administrative support to CC4CA, although we no longer are the entity providing legal and fiscal home for the coalition.

Colorado Emissions Inventory

In personal conversations with Governor John Hickenlooper, RMCO played an important role in persuading him to have the state government undertake a new inventory of Colorado’s statewide emissions of heat-trapping pollution. Colorado’s first such inventory was done in 2007 (see the next page), and the update undertaken in the Hickenlooper administration was completed in 2014.

Colorado Climate Vulnerability

RMCO also played a leading role in persuading the Hickenlooper administration to undertake a comprehensive scientific assessment of the state’s vulnerabilities to climate change, one of the 70 actions recommended in the report of the stakeholder panel that RMCO convened in our 2005-2007 Colorado Climate Project. Many states have prepared vulnerability assessments, used to guide preparedness planning by state and local governments and others. In our conversations with Governor Hickenlooper and his staff, we made the point that Colorado has unique risks that should be assessed by some of the many experts in this state on climate change and its impacts.

The Colorado Energy Office then commissioned a climate change vulnerability assessment by the University of Colorado’s Western Water Assessment and Colorado State University’s North Central Climate Science Center, the two entities that RMCO brought together to develop the proposal that the state government has funded.

Other Actions

Additional RMCO work for state action includes our efforts before the Colorado General Assembly, Colorado Public Utility Commission and executive agencies. See the webpage on RMCO’s Statements for many postings on that work.