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Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Advocates want CT General Assembly to maintain climate goals

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024   

As Connecticut's legislative session begins, advocates want the General Assembly to tackle climate action.

The state established climate goals in 2008 and renewed them in 2018 but only recently have things gone off track. Connecticut is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

Republican filibusters have kept climate legislation from progressing. Numerous community groups signed a letter to lawmakers calling for proactive action on climate change.

Helen Humphreys, communications coordinator for the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, described lawmakers' first steps.

"So like, climate accountability, making sure that we actually declare a climate emergency," Humphreys outlined. "Clean energy, so making sure we're doing things like incorporating both like equity in our energy transition and then also just like expanding our renewable energy department."

She argued there is no time to wait, as Connecticut sees widespread effects of climate change costing the state more in damage. A 2022 report found Connecticut has had at least one billion-dollar disaster yearly since the 2010s. There have been 26 in the last 20 years, a sharp increase from the 1980s and 1990s.

Despite the lack of action, Humphreys feels if lawmakers do the work now, the state can reach its goals. Other states like New York have seen setbacks related to inaction or the pandemic but she noted misconceptions about climate change linger, particularly about how it was caused.

"We really need both like regulatory institutions and our corporate institutions to take responsibility and accountability for their, you know, involvement in propping up fossil fuel projects," Humphreys contended.

Industry is not the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut. Transportation is, though the numbers have fluctuated in the last five years. In 2019, Connecticut had an economywide equivalent of more than 39 million metric tons of emissions, an almost 14% decline since 1990. Emissions hit an all-time low in 2020 but estimates suggested the trend will not last long.


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