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. 

View State Adaptation Plan Status
View All Completed State Goals

Sector Adaptation Goals in Progress or Completed

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. 

Completed Goals from the Agriculture Plan

Completed Goals from the Biodiversity Plan

Completed Goals from the Infrastructure Plan

Completed Goals from the Water Plan



State Law and Policy

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

State Agency Plans

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

Local and Regional Plans

Resource Name Date
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

More Featured Resources

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

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