We are thrilled to share with you the launch of a new policy paper crafted to inform and remind legislators of the critical need to prioritize climate action in our state. This research delves into solutions addressing environmental justice and equity in the ongoing battle against climate change.
We invite you to spread the word within your network to heighten awareness and amplify the voices advocating for climate action in our state. Check out the latest press release below and delve into "Our Climate Can't Wait" today.
Connecticut Lags Behind Neighbors on Efficiency, Solar Power, and Clean Heat
HARTFORD, CT. – Today, Connecticut climate and environmental groups released a policy paper in support of increased energy efficiency, solar power and available clean heat. Titled “Our Climate Can’t Wait,” the paper outlines Connecticut's clean energy shortcomings and offers suggestions on how legislators can steer the state towards its decarbonization goals.
While neighboring states have made impressive progress on clean energy, Connecticut continues to rank near the bottom of the New England states in per capita installed solar. Rather than make necessary strides on renewable energy, Connecticut has instead continued to rely on fracked gas that worsens respiratory conditions, raises energy bills, and pollutes the air.
Read the “Our Climate Can’t Wait” Policy Paper Here.
Connecticut law mandates a 100% zero-carbon electricity supply by 2040 and greenhouse gas emission reductions of 45% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. Three key sets of action are recommended in the policy paper:
Advance Energy Efficiency Programs: Increase and stabilize efficiency funding and allow greater access for low-income communities and renters to energy efficiency programs that reduce consumption and lower bills.
Advance Solar Power: Set ambitious goals to increase solar in Connecticut; prioritize existing infrastructure like rooftops and parking lots for installation; make going solar easier and cheaper for homeowners, renters, small businesses, and others.
Advance Clean Heat: Set ambitious goals to get more heat pumps in Connecticut; create a program to equitably install heat pumps; require energy utilities to launch community geothermal pilots.
By rapidly making progress in these three areas, Connecticut can alleviate present-day energy concerns, move towards achieving its climate and clean energy goals, and ensure a livable planet for future generations.
Representatives for the environmental groups issued the following statements to mark the policy paper release:
“Fossil fuels Connecticut uses to light and heat our homes and buildings during cold, dark New England winters are worsening the climate crisis, threatening our public health, and raising our energy bills,” said Samantha Dynowski, Chapter Director of Sierra Club Connecticut. “Our residents, families, and businesses cannot afford to delay an equitable clean energy transition any longer. State legislators must get Connecticut on track quickly by setting ambitious solar and clean heat targets and supporting accessible energy efficiency programs to ensure these targets are achieved.”
“Connecticut must truly invest in the known solutions and proven paths to equitably protect communities against the worst of climate disaster,” said Leticia Colon de Mejias, president of Green Eco Warriors. “In 2024, our state legislators must invest more in energy efficiency - the most cost-effective way to lower bills, reduce pollution and drive down energy demand. Our efficiency program can’t keep up with the current demands and needs more support.”
“As a movement of elders focused on both climate and democracy, Third Act Connecticut will be organizing around this legislation and more in the upcoming session. Sound public policy is essential as the climate crisis amps up and these proposed initiatives are key for CT, especially its elder and struggling populations,” said Rev. Dr. Davida Foy Crabtree, co-facilitator, Third Act Connecticut.
“In our assessment of the climate crisis we believe society is going to need aggressive actions on all of the renewable energy options, particularly solar and wind, said Nathan Frohling, Director of External Affairs for The Nature Conservancy in CT. “This paper can be instrumental in accelerating thoughtful action on solar which is a particularly crucial need in CT.”
“Our addiction to fossil fuels is poisoning our air and driving the climate crisis,” said Shannon Laun, Vice President for Connecticut at Conservation Law Foundation. “We’re clearly falling behind our neighbors in transitioning to clean, renewable sources of energy and heating, and it’s time for Connecticut to catch up. Our leaders need to walk the walk when it comes to confronting the climate crisis.”
“We are well beyond the climate crisis timeline when doing the bare minimum is enough. The Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs is committed to passing and enacting significant legislation in 2024 that addresses energy efficiency, solar power, clean sources of heat and renewable energy jobs. If the State is going to meet 2030 mandates to reduce dependency on fossil fuels we – collectively, for the benefit of everyone – must be diligent in putting our electeds on notice that the time to act is now, without further delay,” said Aziz Dehkan, Executive Director, CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
"The health and climate benefits of energy efficiency, solar and clean heat are widely understood. What is less well understood", said Mark Scully, President of People's Action for Clean Energy, "is that these tools lay a path for lower energy costs in Connecticut. Until we transition away from fuels, we are locked into ever increasing--and highly volatile--energy expenditures. The Inflation Reduction Act and Bilateral Infrastructure Law provide a unique chance to defray the costs of the transition to clean energy. By doing so, we will lower our energy bills and make Connecticut businesses more competitive. Let's not squander this opportunity to take advantage of federal funding to transition to lower, more stable energy costs--and address climate change in the process."
“The recommendations in this policy paper can be acted upon immediately. Together, they provide a clear set of directions to our state leaders to help constituents save energy, save money, and reduce pollution,” said Lori Brown, CTLCV Executive Director. “The more people learn about heat pumps, the more excited they get. Combined with some basic steps like insulation, heat pumps are unquestionably a key solution to high energy costs and reducing our dependence on oil and gas.”