Connecticut’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose 2.7% from 2017 to 2018, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), meaning the state is not on track to meet emissions reduction targets lawmakers set in 2008. Rising transportation emissions are the largest factor, according to the agency.
Connecticut’s Global Warming Solutions Act requires the state to reduce economywide GHG emissions 80% below 2001 levels by 2050, with an interim target of 45% below 2001 levels by 2030. The electric sector has made significant progress toward the goal, but overall “there is urgent work to be done,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said in a statement.
The rise in Connecticut’s 2018 GHG inventory did not surprise the nonprofit Acadia Center, which has been sounding the alarm for years.
“We told you so,” Jordan Stutt, Acadia’s carbon programs director, said in an email.
The group says energy efficiency is the cheapest way to reduce building emissions, but with “low-hanging” upgrades like LED lighting now complete, the state will need to invest in building retrofits with a particular focus on low- and moderate-income residents.
Acadia also wants to see Connecticut lawmakers — who will meet in an upcoming special session to consider extending the governor’s pandemic-related emergency powers — to pass legislation enabling the state’s participation in the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P) to reduce vehicle emissions.
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