11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

Colorado approved new climate rules for manufacturers. Environmental groups worry they will let companies increase pollution

Colorado approved new climate rules for manufacturers. Environmental groups worry they will let companies increase pollution
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Colorado approved new climate rules for manufacturers. Environmental groups worry they will let companies increase …  Colorado Public Radio

Colorado approved new climate rules for manufacturers. Environmental groups worry they will let companies increase pollution

Colorado Air Quality Control Commission Approves New Regulations

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission has approved new regulations aimed at reducing climate-warming emissions and protecting human health. The regulations are a response to the Environmental Justice Act, which was signed into law by Governor Polis over two years ago. The Act requires the industrial and manufacturing sector to cut emissions by 20 percent by 2030 compared to 2015 levels and limit the release of toxins harmful to human health.

Targeting Major Manufacturing Sites

The new rules specifically target 18 major manufacturing sites, including the Suncor Energy refinery in Commerce City, the Molson Coors brewery in Golden, and the JBS Swift Meatpacking Plant in Greeley. These sites are responsible for significant emissions and pose a threat to nearby communities.

Concerns from Environmental Groups

Environmental groups have raised concerns about the final rules, arguing that they do not ensure steady progress towards the 2030 targets. Instead, they claim that the regulations could allow industrial sites to increase emission levels in the short term, further burdening the communities they aim to protect.

Alex DeGolia, a director of state legislative and regulatory affairs for the Environmental Defense Fund, points out that the state’s method for setting emissions baselines for businesses allows for potential increases in emission levels. The rules allow regulators to choose the higher of either 2021 or 2022 emission levels, which could result in a 9 percent increase in climate-warming pollution leading up to 2030.

“Colorado communities really need leaders that advance strong climate action to protect their health and their futures,” said DeGolia. “Instead, regulators moved forward with a weak rule that would allow emissions from Colorado’s largest industrial polluters to increase over the remainder of the decade.”

Adjustments and Criticisms

Prior to approving the rules, air quality officials made adjustments based on suggestions from the Colorado Chamber of Commerce. The adjustments include delaying the requirement for companies to begin cutting emissions from 2024 to 2026 and establishing a state-managed fund to provide companies with a last-ditch opportunity to pay for compliance.

However, environmental groups criticized these adjustments, arguing that they give companies the option to pay instead of taking meaningful action to reduce emissions. They believe this approach allows companies to harm communities while avoiding responsibility.

Approval and Dissent

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission, consisting of seven members appointed by Governor Polis, voted 5-2 to approve the new regulations. Commissioners supporting the plan praised the staff members for finding a balance between emission reduction and flexibility for large businesses. However, dissenting voices, such as Elise Jones, the executive director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, believe that more time should have been taken to address concerns from communities affected by pollution.

“Colorado has been a leader in the climate space. We’ve had the opportunity to do it again, but I think we’re a few months shy of actually achieving that,” said Jones.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

  1. SDG 13: Climate Action

    • Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning
    • Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning
    • Target 13.5: Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible

    The article discusses the new regulations that require the industrial and manufacturing sector to cut climate-warming emissions by 20 percent by 2030. This aligns with SDG 13, which aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

  2. SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

    • Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination

    The article mentions that the regulations aim to limit releases of associated toxins known to harm human health. This relates to SDG 3, which focuses on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.

  3. SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

    • Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status

    The article highlights concerns from environmental groups that the regulations could potentially burden the same communities they aim to protect. This connects to SDG 10, which aims to reduce inequalities within and among countries.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning The new regulations requiring the industrial and manufacturing sector to cut climate-warming emissions by 20 percent by 2030
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning No specific indicators mentioned in the article
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.5: Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible No specific indicators mentioned in the article
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination The regulations aiming to limit releases of associated toxins known to harm human health
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities Target 10.2: By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, or economic or other status The concerns raised by environmental groups about potential burden on communities

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Source: cpr.org

 

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