Community GHG emissions from electricity generation, natural gas combustion and vehicle emissions are measured in mt CO2e, which stands for metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This unit helps measure how much we are contributing to climate change through emissions.
In October of 2021, City Council adopted new climate goals for the community are:
- Reduce emissions 70% by 2030 against a 2018 baseline;
- Become a net-zero city by 2035; and
- Become a carbon-positive city by 2040.
The City of Boulder and the Boulder community are committed to mitigating climate change by reducing GHG emissions. This page shows the Boulder community’s progress toward this goal. Another dashboard page, titled, “Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from City Operations and Facilities,” shows the municipal government’s progress toward the city organization’s emissions reduction goals. The community’s latest GHG inventory can be found at Boulder's Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
In 2021, Boulder’s emissions were 15.5% lower than 2018 and 30% lower than 2005. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on emissions in 2021, but the full extent of this impact will not be known for some time.
Boulder’s largest emissions sources are electricity use, natural gas use, on-road transportation and aviation. These sources demonstrate the continued importance of moving away from fossil fuels and adopting cleaner sources to power the energy grid, like solar and wind. Boulder must also accelerate the transition to efficient, electric technologies and cleaner modes of transportation.
Emissions rose slightly from 2020 to 2021, a rebound likely caused by the transition back to in-person work, school and recreation as COVID-19 eased.