Greenhouse gas metrics dashboard to inform decision making

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Background Information

Colorado passed a law in 2019 establishing a goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050 from 2005 levels. The law established a process for Colorado to publish an official GHG inventory every two years. However, Colorado's Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) recognized a need for more frequent updates on the state's progress towards meeting the GHG reduction goals to guide policy decisions between inventory releases. 

What was CO Tracking’s role?

Colorado Tracking built and maintains a dashboard that integrates publicly available information about metrics related to greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, transportation, fossil fuel extraction, agriculture, and buildings. Colorado Tracking consulted with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) climate change unit, local governments, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders to make sure the dashboard included key metrics related to both Colorado's GHG reduction goals and climate equity. 

What product or output came from CO Tracking’s role?

A dashboard containing 17 different metrics from 6 state and federal agencies that provides an up-to-date overview of how major sources of GHG emissions are changing in Colorado. The dashboard provides a "one-stop shop" for policy makers, subject matter experts, and the general public to see how metrics related to GHG emissions and climate equity are changing in between the biennial releases of Colorado's official GHG inventory. 

What action or decision was taken to resolve the problem?

The dashboard was used by the Climate Change Unit to brief the AQCC on how Colorado's GHG emissions are changing in each economic sector and how these actual changes compare to the projections in the most recent GHG inventory. The report highlighted that, while most sectors were on track to meet their reduction targets, additional strategies were needed for reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector. 

What was the outcome of this action or decision? 

The report led to discussions at multiple AQCC meetings about what actions are necessary to make sure Colorado is on track to meet its GHG reduction goals and will inform ongoing rulemaking from the AQCC related to climate change. The report also led to suggestions that the AQCC form a subcommittee specifically focused on GHG reduction.