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Climate Bill Advances at the State Capitol

Samantha Dynowski

March 2024

On March 15, the Connecticut legislature’s Environment Committee advanced House Bill 5004, a multi-section bill that aims to address Connecticut’s most pressing environmental issue, climate change. 

 

For decades, we have known the causes and expected impacts of climate change. Alarming news from across the world, and here at home, confirms that we are experiencing the unprecedented and costly effects of our continued burning of fossil fuels. Rising ocean temperatures, deadly heat waves, and devastating wildfires are occurring. Here in Connecticut, flooding from extreme weather, wildfire smoke, disappearing winter and more have directly impacted us.

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Image: Flooding of the Connecticut River by billandkent CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

It is time for Connecticut to ramp up efforts to protect our state’s residents. We may be a small state but we can make an impact.

 

House Bill 5004, spearheaded by State Representative Christine Palm and supported by dozens of co-sponsors, includes transformative measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ramp up clean and renewable energy, including:

 

  • Updating the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), Connecticut’s greenhouse gas reduction law, to update emissions targets.

  • Aligning gas system planning with our emission targets by starting a Future of Gas docket to plan for the decreasing role of gas in a decarbonized future.  

  • Moving Towards Efficient Buildings by developing heat pump targets, planning pollution free space and water heating, and requiring fossil-free new and renovated state buildings.

 

In addition, it includes measures to support nature based solutions, resiliency, incentivize businesses, and support municipalities.

 

The bill is missing measures to ensure we meet these goals. It needs enforceability and accountability. 

 

Every legislator, Democrat and Republican, needs to hear from their constituents. We need all of them to work together to protect our state from the threat of climate change.

 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Check here to see if your legislators have co-sponsored the bill.

  • Send an email to your legislators - be sure to add a personal message! Ask them to cosponsor the bill if they haven’t. Thank them if they have.

  • Follow up your email with a phone call (phone numbers are supplied after you send your email)

Samantha Dynowski is State Director of Sierra Club Connecticut.

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