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 2020, Boulder achieved a 22% emissions reduction against the newly set 2018 baseline, and a 36% reduction against the original 2005 baseline. While this reduction appears to convey significant progress towards the city’s climate targets, the results for the year 2020 should be taken within the context that this was an extraordinary year and may not reflect persistent progress towards the city’s goals. The COVID-19 pandemic effects on the city began March 16, 2020, with the state-wide shutdown and have continued through to date. While some of the effects, both positive and negative, may carry forward, it will be years before any conclusion can be drawn as to the sustained impact on global and local emissions.