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Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

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Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

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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