Hartford, CT – Acadia Center today released new analysis showing that Connecticut’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have reversed course and increased by 4.4% since 2012. Using the most recent data available on actual GHG emissions, Acadia Center found that total GHG emissions increased from 39.6 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2012 to 41.3 MMTCO2e in 2014 – a net increase of 1.7 MMTCO2e. This is the first two-year increase in GHG emissions for Connecticut since 2003-2004.

Acadia Center’s analysis also found that the GHG emissions level in 2014 was more than the state’s mandatory 2020 GHG emissions cap, exceeding it by nearly 1.5 MMTCO2e, or 3.7%. Connecticut’s Global Warming Solutions Act, passed in 2008, set a binding target of reducing GHG emissions to at least 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The new emissions data indicates that Connecticut is not on track to satisfy this legal requirement. In fact, preliminary data for 2015 suggests that emissions for this past year will be even higher than the level for 2014.

“This new, sustained upward trend in Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions is a cause for concern,” said Daniel L. Sosland, Acadia Center President. “We need stronger and faster reductions in GHG emissions through policies that we know are effective, such as eliminating costly energy waste, reforming our energy rules so that investments in exciting, community oriented clean energy technologies can flourish, and increasing our clean energy supply. It is crucial that the state’s upcoming Comprehensive Energy Strategy establish a clear policy path that will bring the state into compliance with its 2020 GHG emissions limit. We cannot afford to backslide any further.”

The rise in Connecticut’s GHG emissions from 2012 to 2014 comes after eight years of generally declining emissions from an historic peak in 2004. Acadia Center examined Connecticut’s GHG emissions at the sector level and found that the largest contributor to the state’s emissions was the transportation sector.

“We need to move quickly and aggressively if we are to have any real chance of complying with the state’s 2020 GHG emissions limit,” said Jamie Howland, Director of Acadia Center’s Climate and Energy Analysis Center. “Based on this latest data, Connecticut will need to wipe out the recent increase in a little over three years to meet the 2020 mandate. We face a major challenge, but it’s achievable if we immediately expand policies we already have in place, such as ramping up our energy efficiency investments and renewables goals to those of leading states, strengthening the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative’s emissions cap, and avoid locking into long-term emissions increases with new fossil fuel infrastructure projects.”

Acadia Center’s latest analysis of Connecticut’s GHG emissions updates its previous inventory of the state’s emissions released in 2013 through its ClimateVision 2020 report. The original ClimateVision 2020 report is available online: http://climatevision.acadiacenter.staging.wpengine.com/sites/default/files/ENE_ClimateVision2020_v1.1_0.pdf.

Acadia Center analyzed new GHG emissions data for 2013 and 2014 recently released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s State Inventory Tool.

 

Contact:

Jamie Howland, Director, Climate and Energy Analysis Center
860-246-7121 x201, jhowland@acadiacenter.org

Bill Dornbos, Senior Attorney & Director, Connecticut Office
860-246-7121 x202, wdornbos@acadiacenter.org

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Acadia Center is a non-profit, data-driven research and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Acadia Center is at the forefront of efforts to build clean, low-carbon and consumer-friendly economies. Acadia Center provides accurate and reliable information, and offers a real-world and comprehensive approach to problem solving through innovation and collaboration. Acadia Center’s Connecticut Office focuses on developing and implementing solutions to Connecticut’s climate and energy challenges.