DENVER—Gathering before a crowd of advocates near the capitol, leading conservation organizations celebrated Earth Day by urging Governor Ritter to adopt science-based global warming pollution reduction goals for the state of Colorado.
Dan Grossman, Rocky Mountain Regional Director for Environmental Defense, began the Earth Day event by issuing a call to action to Governor Ritter and all Coloradans.
“Climate change is a clear and present danger to the environment and to the economy of Colorado and we need bold action from policymakers that is commensurate with that danger,” said Grossman. “We are asking Governor Ritter to continue his environmental leadership by setting official targets for Colorado to reduce global warming pollution to below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.”
The pollution reductions called for by the newly formed Colorado Climate Action Network are consistent with scientific assessments of necessary global greenhouse gas reductions. They also mirror official pollution reduction targets adopted last year by New Mexico and Arizona.
Over the coming weeks and months, the Colorado Climate Action Network will be asking citizens, businesses, and organizations from across Colorado to join the effort to dramatically reduce Colorado’s global warming pollution.
These pollution reductions are necessary to protect Colorado’s unique quality of life from the worst impacts of a warming world.
“From abundant game and mountain trout to unmatched skiing and hiking, Colorado is a sportsman’s paradise,” explained David Dittloff, regional representative for the National Wildlife Federation. “We must commit to deep reductions in global warming pollution to protect our unique alpine ecosystems and deep mountain snow-packs.”
The coalition pledged to work with citizens, lawmakers, industry, and other stakeholders to help develop a strategic plan to achieve the science-based pollution reduction goals. The coalition outlined several likely initiatives that could be part of a statewide strategic plan to address global warming.
According to Matt Baker, Executive Director of Environment Colorado, Colorado can meet the challenge of reducing global warming pollution. “We have the know-how and the technology to make the pollution reductions we need to protect the Colorado we all love,” said Baker. “Automakers can make cars cleaner, ,utilities can build power plants that don’t emit pollution, home builders can build houses that are efficient, and we can all change our daily lives to use less energy.”
The Colorado Climate Action Network is heartened by the recent moves by New Mexico, Arizona, California, Washington, and Oregon, to form the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative to achieve regional global warming pollution reductions, and urges Colorado to join.
“Working with our neighbors will make achieving Colorado’s pollution reduction goals easier,” said Elise Jones, Executive Director of the Colorado Environmental Coalition.
The Colorado Climate Action Network is dedicated to cutting Colorado’s global warming pollution by identifying and implementing common-sense solutions for the state of Colorado.
The group’s website will launch later this week at: www.coclimateactionnetwork.org.
The following conservation organizations endorsed the Colorado Climate Action Network’s call for science-based goals for cutting global warming pollution.
Arkansas Valley Audubon Society
Backcountry Snowsports Alliance
Center for Native Ecosystems
Colorado Conservation Voters
Colorado Environmental Coalition
High Country Citizens Alliance
National Wildlife Federation
San Juan Citizens Alliance
San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project
The Wilderness Society
Western Colorado Congress
Western Resource Advocates
Isaac Silverman, Environmental Defense