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Unpacking The Conversation On Carbon Markets, Taxes And Goals in Colorado


In 2018, Colorado gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis claimed he supported making Colorado the first state in the nation to implement a carbon tax. While he has yet to do so, Colorado has adopted a set of ambitious goals for reducing carbon pollution since Polis took office.

But in July, when he signed legislation to advance environmental justice in the state, Polis also issued an executive order that prohibits Colorado from installing a statewide cap-and-trade policy. While he acknowledged this system of reducing emissions through economic markets might have merit on the national scale, he claimed it was "not an appropriate policy for Colorado."

Colorado Edition’s Erin O’Toole spoke with Louisville-based geographer and global climate policy researcher Lauren Gifford to understand the state’s carbon economy and lofty goals for emissions reduction.

I am the Rural and Small Communities Reporter at KUNC. That means my focus is building relationships and telling stories from under-covered pockets of Colorado.