Newly-Released Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report Documents Failure of State Policies to Combat Climate Change
HARTFORD, CT – Today, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced the release of the 2018 Connecticut Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory report. Much progress has been made and Acadia Center applauds DEEP for making these gains. However, this report concludes that the state needs to do more to address the climate crisis. The 2018 GHG Inventory tracks the state’s progress toward meeting the economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets established in the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). The report is clear: Connecticut is not on track to meet its 2030 and 2050 GHG targets and is failing to meet the goals laid out in the 2008 Global Solutions Warming Act.
Acadia Center urges the state to take bolder action to reduce greenhouse emissions. The 2021 legislative session failed to achieve far-reaching climate legislation. Bills that addressed priorities identified in the inventory report as key emissions reductions policies, including support for the Transportation and Climate Initiative and mandatory reporting on building energy consumption, did not pass. Acadia Center supports both of these bills.
“Connecticut has an opportunity to turn this ship around and build back from the failed efforts to address the egregious greenhouse gas and carbon emissions that thwart the fight against climate change” said Amy McLean, Acadia Center State Director and Senior Policy Advocate.
In order to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, Connecticut must do more to address emissions from the transportation and buildings sectors. Below, Acadia Center identifies key strategies to help Connecticut lower its transportation and buildings emissions.
The primary culprit behind Connecticut’s climate failure is the transportation sector, which now accounts for more climate pollution than Connecticut’s electricity and residential sectors combined.
Despite the clear science on climate change and the increasing pollution from the transportation sector, Connecticut’s policymakers have failed to act with the necessary urgency to address this challenge. Time after time, practical solutions have been rejected in favor of inaction.
Fortunately, the upcoming special session offers Connecticut legislators an opportunity to be leaders on this critical issue by passing ambitious, equitable legislation to enable the state’s participation in the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P).
“Proactive measures to reduce transportation pollution, like TCI-P, will not only help to meet climate targets, but will create jobs, boost the economy, provide better mobility options, and improve public health,” said Jordan Stutt, Acadia Center’s Carbon Programs Director.
Energy efficiency is the least-cost way for Connecticut to reduce emissions from buildings. With the decline of low-hanging fruit like more efficient light bulbs, the state’s efficiency programs have an opportunity to reinvest in deeper savings from whole-building retrofits—especially in low- and moderate-income homes and rentals, whose occupants have not benefited from the same access to program incentives as other homes.
Ramping up installation of weatherization measures like insulation and air sealing reduces emissions, saves money, and decreases the up-front cost of building electrification. Connecticut only insulates 0.1% of its housing stock each year, compared to Massachusetts’ 1.2% per year. Weatherizing more buildings is an indispensable strategy for achieving Connecticut’s climate targets.
It will be impossible to meaningfully reduce emissions from buildings in Connecticut without immediate, widespread building electrification. Heat pumps can provide efficient space heating, air conditioning, and water heating for any building in the state, even on the coldest winter days. The 2022-24 Conservation and Load Management Plan is the perfect opportunity for the state’s two electric utilities to embrace cold-climate heat pumps.
“The searing temperatures in the beginning of the summer and the historic rainfall and flooding that took the lives of dozens of people in the Northeast less than two weeks ago are the reality of climate change,” said Amy McLean. “It is time to address the problems with real solutions that will make a difference. The legislature, the Lamont Administration, and the voting public can work together to make it happen. The time is now.”
Amy McLean, Connecticut Director and Senior Policy Advocate
firstname.lastname@example.org, 860-246-7121 x204, cell: 860 478-912521
Acadia Center is a regionally focused non-profit organization headquartered in Rockport, Maine, working to advance a clean energy future that benefits all.