Snowsports Industries America (SIA) and Colorado-based outdoor companies helped push a climate change bill through the Senate on Wednesday—a step closer to lowering statewide greenhouse gas emissions.
It now awaits Democratic Gov. Jared Polis' signature.
"Our Colorado members understand the impacts that climate change is already having across the state through inconsistent winters, wildfires, and limited water supplies, so leveraging their influence as business leaders to drive this piece of legislation forward was vitally important," SIA President Nick Sargent said.
On April 22, the snowsports organization along with Dynafit, Zeal Optics, Krimson Klover, Weston Backcountry, Verde Brand Communications, Meteorite PR, and more companies sent a letter to state senators advocating for the passage of the Colorado Climate Action Plan (HB19-1261).
The legislation—with Democrats as prime sponsors—aims to reduce emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025, at least 50 percent by 2030, and at least 90 percent by 2050. The goal is 10 percent shy of the 100 percent zero-emissions recommendation from the United Nations climate assessment, but ahead of many other states.
Democrats emphasize the importance of addressing climate change; Republicans fear that it will more likely penalize consumers and businesses, according to reports.
"We know we have a small and shrinking window to act on climate change," the group of businesses wrote to senators. "Colorado is already experiencing the impacts of climate change through more severe wildfires, more frequent droughts, and declining snowpack across our state."
Colorado’s ski industry generates $5 billion in economic revenue and supports more than 46,000 jobs, and climate change is hurting the outdoor industry and the state, according to the group.
They continued, "For those of us who spend time outside each winter and depend on consistent snowfall for our livelihoods, it is abundantly clear that our ski industry is under threat and so too is one of Colorado’s main economic lifelines. These changes will impact the multi-national companies that are based here, as well as our local retailers and mountain communities that depend on tourism in both winter and summer."
Following the Trump administration's rollback of Obama-era vehicle fuel efficiency emissions regulations in April 2018, this is good news in the fight against climate change.