Governor’s Climate Council calls for 45% emissions reduction by 2030
Aggressive target will help state meet Global Warming Solutions Act
NEW HAVEN, CONN. – The Governor’s Council on Climate Change voted Friday afternoon to recommend an interim target to keep Connecticut on track to meet its greenhouse gas obligations.
Under the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, Connecticut must 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. The Council is recommending getting emissions down to 45 percent below 2001 levels by 2030. The Council will develop a statement of principles to accompany the interim target recommendation.
The 45 percent reduction target would be one of the strongest in the nation. Connecticut Fund for the Environment, one of two nonprofit representatives on the Council, had argued for an even more aggressive target of 55 percent that would encourage steeper emissions reductions and reap greater economic benefits for the state.
“Connecticut briefly met its 2020 target a few years ago, but emissions have started creeping back up since 2012. To keep Connecticut economically competitive, protect our citizens’ health, and meet our climate obligations, we urgently need to end our addiction to fossil fuels in power generation, heating, and transportation,” said Claire Coleman, climate and energy attorney at Connecticut Fund for the Environment. “We can’t kick the can down the road any longer. And this target will help make sure we don’t.
“The next critical step is for state legislators to make this target enforceable by amending the Global Warming Solutions Act in the upcoming legislative session.
“Having one of the strongest emissions targets in the country doesn’t mean much if we aren’t also taking aggressive action to meet it. The Governor’s Council on Climate Change should formally recommend concrete steps to cut greenhouse gas pollution—like establishing a full-scale shared solar program, procuring additional offshore wind energy, strengthening investments in energy efficient buildings, and cutting emissions from cars by encouraging electric vehicles and public transit—and the legislature and state agencies should implement them, starting this spring.
“We know that visionary action on clean energy is the best way to generate the jobs of the future and clean our air. Today’s Council action is a big step forward in achieving that goal.”