This page provides an overview of the steps Colorado is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
On November 5, 2007, Governor Bill Ritter called on the state to prepare for and adapt to climate changes that cannot be avoided. On that date, the state released the Colorado Climate Action Plan: A Strategy to Address Global Warming. On April 22, 2008, Governor Ritter created the state's Climate Change Advisory Panel and authorized the panel to make recommendations to achieve the goals of Colorado's Climate Action Plan, including mechanisms for adaptation planning (Executive Order B007 08).
The Colorado Climate Preparedness Project was initiated by Governor Ritter, carried out by the Western Water Assessment, and guided by a team of representatives from the Governor’s Energy Office, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The project’s aim was to identify adaptation actions Colorado can take to reduce the state’s vulnerability to climate impacts.
In 2011, the Western Water Assessment identified climate risks and adaptation goals in the following sectors: water; wildlife, ecosystems, and forests; electricity; agriculture; and outdoor recreation (Colorado Climate Preparedness Project Final Report). The report also identified cross-cutting goals that are relevant to multiple sectors.
In 2013, the Colorado legislature directed the governor to create a position within the executive branch to coordinate the state's climate preparedness activities (H.B. 13-1293). That legislation also calls for an annual report on how to reduce emissions and prepare the state for the effects of climate change.
Colorado is in the process of implementing the goals set forth in the 2011 plan.
(Research last updated June 30, 2014; Click here for a description of our methodology.)
The Georgetown Climate Center’s State Adaptation Progress Tracker, which tracks the progress of states in implementing their adaptation plans, is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
Get a quick view of the progress Colorado is making to prepare for climate change in different areas below. The first number includes goals in progress or completed in Colorado's state adaptation plan. The second number reflects the total number of goals in each area. For a more detailed look at progress click here or click on one of the sector buttons below.
Below is a list of all completed goals from the state's adaptation plan(s) in the agriculture sector. Click the plus sign to learn more about each stated goal. Click here to view a detailed breakdown of the state's progress in implementing its adaptation plan(s).
Below is a list of all completed goals from the state's adaptation plan(s) in the biodiversity sector. Click the plus sign to learn more about each stated goal. Click here to view a detailed breakdown of the state's progress in implementing its adaptation plan(s).
Below is a list of all completed goals from the state's adaptation plan(s) in the water sector. Click the plus sign to learn more about each stated goal. Click here to view a detailed breakdown of the state's progress in implementing its adaptation plan(s).
|Resource Name||Resource Type||Date|
|Colorado HB 13-1293: Creates climate change position in executive branch||Law and Governance||May 28, 2013|
|Colorado Executive Order B007 08||Law and Governance||April 22, 2008|
|Resource Name||Sector(s) Covered||Date|
|Colorado Climate Plan - State Level Policies and Strategies to Mitigate and Adapt||Agriculture and food, Biodiversity and ecosystems, Energy, Forestry, Public health, Tourism and recreation, Transportation, Water infrastructure, Water resources||September 16, 2015|
|Colorado Drought Mitigation Response Plan||Agriculture and food, Energy, Land use and built environment, Tourism and recreation, Water resources||September 2010|
|Colorado Climate Action Plan (2007)||Agriculture and food, Biodiversity and ecosystems, Forestry, Public health, Water resources||November 2007|
|City of Boulder, Colorado Resilience Strategy||April 2016|
|Climate Change & Aspen: An Update on Impacts to Guide Resiliency Planning & Stakeholder Engagement||December 2014|
|City and County of Denver, Colorado Climate Adaptation Plan||June 24, 2014|
|Boulder County, Colorado Climate Change Preparedness Plan||May 3, 2012|
|Boulder's Greenways Master Plan||2011|
|Resource Name||Resource Category||Date|
|Colorado Climate Vulnerability Study||Assessments||January 2015|
|Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources Management and Adaptation (2014)||Assessments||August 2014|
|Colorado Climate Preparedness Project: Final Report||Assessments||2011|
|Climate Change in Colorado: A Synthesis to Support Water Resources Management and Adaptation||Assessments||2008|
|Colorado Climate Preparedness Project Adaptation Database||Adaptation Websites|