Time is running out! Top climate scientists issued a “code red for humanity” recently, warning that this is our last chance to implement the transformational changes necessary to keep warming below 1.5 C (2.7 F) and avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change.
Connecticut had been a leader on enacting policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions but according to the recent Greenhouse Gas Inventory report, we’re falling behind. We simply must move away from the policy to expand natural gas and instead, ramp up renewables, electrify heating/cooling and transportation and we must do this fast.
Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 21-3 on Dec. 16th, 2021 that calls for bold climate action and directs the executive branch state agencies to take significant actions within their authority to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for the impacts of the climate crisis. Executive Order No. 21-3 calls for 23 actions, proposed by the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) January report that calls for cross-cutting actions on state agencies and sectors in the following areas:
- Buildings and infrastructure;
- Clean transportation;
- Community climate resilience;
- Health, equity, and environmental justice;
- Jobs and the economy; and
- Natural and working lands.
The 23 actions required by the executive order include affordable heating and cooling for Connecticut residents and businesses; building codes; a statewide battery electric bus fleet; shovel-ready resilience projects; regulating emissions from medium and heavy-duty vehicles; and increasing resilience and carbon sequestration in forests and agriculture.
All of this is great news but we also must pass key legislation that codifies and expands these initiatives for all. That's why we are working hard on three important climate bills:
- SB 10 - Requires that by 2040, all electricity supplied to Connecticut will be from clean, renewable sources.
- SB 4 - Addresses transportation emissions, a major source of toxic air pollutants, by setting interim targets for shifting to electric vehicles with a goal that 100% of cars and light duty trucks will be battery electric by 2030.
- HB 5039 - Would authorize the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to pass regulations to adopt California medium and heavy-duty vehicle emission standards.
These bills go a long way to assure that Connecticut is aggressively working to mitigate climate change. Together, with our amazing phone canvass team, we’re urging all legislators to support and pass these bills by the end of session on May 9th.