Why we need action this year to Keep CT's Climate Promise
What is CT's Climate Promise?
In 2008, environmental organizations, health experts, businesses, and people across the state came together to pass the Global Warming Solutions Act. It requires the state to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions to at least 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and to at least 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050.
Over the last few years, the legislature has added a 45 percent reduction requirement for 2030, and established a 100 percent zero carbon electricity standard by 2040.
Is CT keeping its promise?
No. Connecticut's latest greenhouse gas inventory revealed the state is not on track to meet its emissions reduction commitments, and that emissions in some sectors have actually risen. State agencies aren't currently required to consider climate impacts when making decisions that could increase pollution, and it's hard to enforce the law.
Moreover, the latest science now says steeper reductions than those established in the 2008 bill are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
To protect our communities and build a strong future for Connecticut, we must update the law with the best science available and strengthen it by making it more enforceable.
We also need measures to actually achieve the reductions and protect our health.
What can the legislature do?
The Connecticut General Assembly's Environment Committee has considered several bills that can help provide accountability and put us back on the path to success. Your voices can help keep up the momentum and ensure these bills become law.
The CT Coalition for Climate Action is calling for legislation this session to update and strengthen the Global Warming Solutions Act by:
(1) Updating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission targets to reflect the best available science;
(2) Establishing clear accountability for state agency decision-making that supports the state’s GHG reduction obligations under the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA);
(3) Expanding authority for state agencies to adopt policies and regulations to meet our GHG reduction obligations;
(4) Providing for citizen enforcement of the GWSA; and
(5) Establishing a Connecticut decarbonization roadmap.
We need healthy homes and resilient communities. Investment in greener, more efficient houses and offices that reduce energy use—that cut climate pollution and families' bills. Cleaner transportation options that get Connecticut residents to where they work, learn, and play with less emissions.
And we need to stop putting the worst burdens of air pollution and climate vulnerability on neighborhoods that are already dealing with more than their fair share. Connecticut must update its Environmental Justice law.