March 16, 2015
By Jeremy Brecher
While global cooperation is required to address global warming, national governments are so far failing to adopt the necessary agreements and policies. Therefore people and governments have had to take the initiative for protecting the climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions locally and regionally.
Connecticut illustrates a common pattern: periods of intense concern about climate change interspersed with periods of neglect. Connecticut began trying to help protect the climate almost as soon as scientists first established the facts about global warming; its 1990 Act Concerning Global Warming was America’s first state global warming law to require specific actions for reducing carbon emissions. But little was done to implement that law. A dozen years later concern about climate change revived and the state established the Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change; developed a detailed and ambitious Climate Change Action Plan based on a year-long process with input from governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders; and passed a Global Warming Solutions Act with targets and timetable for greenhouse gas emission reductions in line with the scientific standards laid out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
But the Climate Change Action Plan lays out no actions past the fast-approaching interim target year of 2020. As a result, Connecticut is flying blind in attempting to reach its post-2020 climate targets. This discussion paper examines Connecticut’s efforts to meet its initial targets; describes its inadequate preparation to meet future goals; and lays out steps for “rebooting” the state’s climate protection by creating a new Climate Change Action Plan. This approach may be of interest in other locations where once-vibrant climate action has faded and needs to be revived.
Connecticut’s Global Warming Solution Act establishes state goals for reducing the greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are causing global warming.
Connecticut’s 2005 Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) laid out detailed strategies to reach the state’s climate protection goals for 2010 and 2020.
Connecticut has no official plan for reaching any post-2020 climate goals.
Reaching Connecticut’s long-term goal of reducing GHGs 80% by 2050 will require very different policies than it has pursued so far.
Over the past decade, climate science has progressed, Connecticut has experienced devastating effects of climate change, and the economics and technology of climate protection have greatly advanced.
If we are to meet Connecticut’s legislated climate goals, and protect ourselves and our posterity from devastating climate change, we need to develop and implement a new climate action plan.
The legislature, the executive branch, and the public all have a responsibility to initiate the process that will lead to a new climate action plan for Connecticut.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Table of Contents
1. Are we on track to meet our climate goals?
2. Why Connecticut needs a new Climate Change Action Plan
3. How to reboot Connecticut’s Climate Change Action Plan
A decade ago, the state of Connecticut issued the Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) laying out Connecticut’s contribution to a climate-safe future.1 The plan set goals for reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are causing global warming: Return to 1990 levels by 2010; to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020; and to 80% below 2001 levels by 2050. These goals were subsequently incorporated into state law by Public Act 08-98 the Connecticut Global Warming Solutions Act. The CCAP laid out 55 detailed recommendations for reaching the 2010 and 2020 goals. But the plan says almost nothing about what to do after 2020 or how to reach the far more challenging goal of an 80% reduction of GHG emissions by 2050. As 2020 fast approaches, Connecticut needs a new climate change action plan that lays out realistic policies to reach that goal.
Twenty-five years of global inaction have created a global climate threat of unprecedented proportions. Annual carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have risen 60 percent since 1988. In 2014 carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached their highest level in 800,000 years.2 In 2014, the world experienced its hottest year on record. According to Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, “with the current policies in place, the world is perfectly on track” for 11 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature – far above the maximum scientists say is compatible with human civilization as we know it.3
Connecticut has experienced devastating storms, floods, inundations, and temperature extremes related to global warming. Winter temperatures have risen more than 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the northeast since 1970, accompanied by extreme cold snaps. Superstorm Sandy’s storm surge was more than 9 feet in Bridgeport and New Haven, causing the highest water level ever recorded there.4 As the following table indicates, by 2045 Connecticut’s coastal cities will face increases in sea level of nearly a foot and flood events eight to eighteen times more frequently than now.
Sea level rise and extreme weather are already impacting Connecticut, but they are nothing compared to what the future will hold unless we and others do our part to set the world on a much lower GHG-emissions pathway. While global cooperation is required to address global warming, national governments are so far failing to adopt the necessary agreements and policies. Therefore people and governments have started protecting the climate by reducing GHG emissions locally and regionally. Connecticut began contributing to that process almost as soon as scientists first established the facts about global warming; its 1990 Act Concerning Global Warming was America’s first state global warming law to require specific actions for reducing carbon emissions. We dare not abandon that responsibility now. Instead, we must embrace that legacy of climate leadership and continue to put the pieces of a global climate solution in place, knowing that by doing so we are helping to lay the groundwork for humanity’s survival.
Part 1 of this discussion paper examines whether Connecticut is on track to meet its climate protection goals. It finds that the shorter-term target for 2020 will probably be met, but that success may in part result from temporary factors that will not help us meet our longer-term goal. To reach its 2050 GHG reduction target of 80%, Connecticut will need to reduce emissions about four times faster over the next 35 years than it has over the past 25. That means about a 2% reduction a year. This confirms the view of Connecticut’s 2013 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) “significant additional measures and breakthrough technologies will be required to achieve the goal of an 80% emissions reduction by 2050 as spelled out in the state’s 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act.”6
Part 2 presents the background of Connecticut’s climate protection efforts since 1990; describes the limitations of its present strategy; and proposes a new climate change action plan as a critical step to meeting our future goals.
Part 3 lays out the concrete steps needed to reboot Connecticut’s climate strategy by constructing a new CCAP, drawing on the lessons of the original plan and the experience of other states in revitalizing their own climate protection strategies.
The purpose of this discussion paper is neither to disparage nor to celebrate past or present climate policies or those responsible for them. Its purpose is to help us get on a course to meet the requirements of state law and global climate safety. At present, we are like a pilot conducting an arduous long- distance flight without instruments, maps, or a flight plan. Of course, any flight plan needs to be open to revision as traffic and weather conditions develop. But what competent pilot would start out on such a flight without one? At best, the outcome would be an unnecessarily long and wasteful journey. At worst, apparent progress toward the destination may lead off on a tangent that takes us far from our destination. Getting to our climate protection goals will indeed be an arduous journey. But failing to make a flight plan to reach them will only add fuel to our growing climate catastrophe.
This report has been produced by the Labor Network for Sustainability. LNS was founded in 2009 based on an understanding that long-term sustainability cannot be achieved without environmental protection, economic fairness, and social justice. LNS helps workers and environmentalists engage in order to help our society address the deepening crises of climate and inequality. LNS believes we all need a livelihood and we all need a livable planet.
This report has been inspired by the work of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, an unusual partnership launched in 2012 between the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN) and the Connecticut AFL-CIO to strengthen collaboration among Connecticut’s labor, environmental, and religious groups in advocating for public policies that address climate change while creating good-paying jobs in Connecticut.
The author wishes to thank all those who contributed to his education about Connecticut climate policy and all who have commented on previous drafts of this discussion paper.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼1. Are we on track to meet our climate goals?
Is Connecticut on the track to meet its GHG-reduction goals? A casual glance at recent data might suggest that our GHG reductions are ahead of schedule and we can meet our goals simply by continuing on our current course under our existing climate protection strategies. Unfortunately, the picture is not so simple.
Connecticut’s 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act set a modest goal of returning GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 and reducing them to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. It set a far more demanding long-term goal of reducing them to 80% below 2001 levels by 2050.7
Statistics on GHG emissions fluctuate over time. Connecticut’s gross annual GHG emissions climbed gradually from 44 million metric tons (MMT) in 1990 to a peak greater than 48 MMT in 2004. They then dropped by more than 20 percent back to just under 40 MMT in 2011.8 No figures are available for the period since 2011; therefore the impacts of Malloy administration policies, the end of the Great Recession, or other recent factors are uncertain.
The good news is that Connecticut has met its first climate targets. According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Connecticut achieved a nearly 10% reduction in GHG emissions between 1990 and 2011, the most recent year for which the data are available. Connecticut has almost met its GWSA goal of reducing emissions 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.9 The picture is less rosy, however, if we examine why Connecticut’s GHG emissions fell and what scale of effort will be necessary to meet the 2050 target.
From the peak years of 2004 to 2011 GHG emissions dropped an impressive 20%. DEEP says that “the state’s investments in energy efficiency and switching to low carbon fuels and renewables are responsible for much of these emission reductions.” It does not, however, say how much.10 We do know that there has ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼been a 22% reduction in power plant emissions in Northeastern states between 2000 and 2010, and that energy efficiency was responsible for 32% of that reduction while renewable energy was responsible for 21%.11 But since electricity generation produces only about 20% of Connecticut’s GHG emissions, and the reductions in GHG emissions are spread across multiple sectors, these regional figures give no more than a hint of how much energy efficiency and renewable energy may have contributed to reductions in Connecticut’s overall GHG emissions during that period.12
A significant proportion of the reported reduction results from switching from coal and oil to natural gas. Such “fuel switching” is responsible for 47% of the 22% reduction in power plant emissions in Northeastern states between 2000 and 2010.13 Similar conversion to natural gas for heating presumably had a similar effect.
This news may not be as good news as it sounds, however. First, because Connecticut has converted almost all its coal and oil generation of electricity to natural gas, there can be little additional gain from this source in the future. Second, Connecticut’s official figures on reductions in GHG emissions due to conversion to natural gas do not include emissions and leakage that may occur in the extraction and transportation of natural gas out-of-state, so a significant part of the claimed benefit for global climate change mitigation may in fact be illusory.
The period of rapid GHG emission reduction also corresponds with the Great Recession, which undoubtedly reduced the burning of fossil fuels in Connecticut. There is some evidence that to some degree GHG emissions have been “de-coupled” from economic growth.14 But since the available emissions date does not go beyond 2011, whether and how much the reduction in GHG emissions continues as the economy grows after 2011remains undetermined.
When we turn to the major cuts required by 2050, the picture becomes considerably more challenging. To meet the GWSA goal of reducing GHG emission 80% from 2001 levels by 2050 will require a 70% reduction over the next 35 years — a reduction of about 2% a year. From 2004 to 2011 Connecticut actually succeeded in reducing its emissions by 2% a year. If we can maintain that rate of reduction we can reach the 2050 target. But the 2004-2011 period may well have been exceptional, as noted above. Between 1990 and 2011, Connecticut reduced its GHG emissions by less than 10% — less than half a percent per year. If we follow that longer-term, 1990-2010 trajectory, we will only make about a quarter of the necessary GHG reductions by 2050.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Connecticut has made significant changes in energy policy in the past four years, though their effects are not yet known. Recent and recommended future changes are presented in the 2013 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES). The CES claims to “put the state on a trajectory toward progress on climate change.” But it also recognizes that our current trajectory will not reach our legislatively mandated goals, maintaining that “significant additional measures and breakthrough technologies will be required to achieve the goal of an 80% emissions reduction by 2050 as spelled out in the state’s 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act.”15
It is essential that the appearance of success in meeting our short-term goals not lead us to complacency about planning for the far harder task that lies ahead.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼2. Why Connecticut needs a new Climate Change Action Plan
Protecting the climate by reducing GHG emissions requires steady, long-term attention. While Connecticut has sometimes been a climate action leader, its commitment has ebbed and flowed in the quarter century since scientists established the threat posed by climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels.
In 1990, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its First Assessment Report, laying out the scientific consensus that the earth was warming and that human burning of fossil fuels was almost certainly a major cause. That year Connecticut passed America’s first state global warming law that required specific actions for reducing carbon emissions.16 PA 90-219, “An Act Concerning Global Warming,” required a wide range of actions including a comprehensive energy plan to decrease dependence on fossil fuels through energy conservation and solar energy; a 50% reduction in average energy use in state buildings by 2010; and analysis of public transit alternatives for all new expressways. It recommended many other GHG-reducing measures, including electric energy efficiency standards for buildings; telecommuting for state employees; and disincentives for free parking. According to one of its legislative coauthors, however, “it was never really implemented” due primarily to lack of any definitive targets and timetables.17
A decade later, in 2001, the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) held a workshop on climate change, co-chaired by Connecticut Governor John Rowland, and issued Climate Change Action Plan 2001. It set GHG reduction goals for 2010 and 2020 and a long-term goal to “reduce regional GHG emissions sufficiently to eliminate any dangerous threat to the climate.” It added that “current science suggests that this level is 75% to 85% below 2001 levels.” The Plan included nine action items and stated “the region will undertake a planning process every five years, beginning in 2005.”18
In early 2002, Connecticut governor John Rowland established the Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change, which was composed of state agency leaders. It convened participants from 13 state agencies for a summit to establish a process for developing a climate change action plan.19 In 2003 it developed a year-long “Stakeholder Dialogue” in which 25 stakeholders ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼and nearly 100 organizations participated and five working groups performed policy and technical analysis of transportation and land use; electricity generation; residential, commercial, and industrial energy use; agriculture, forestry, and waste emissions; and education. The public was invited to attend four information meetings and to submit written comments. The stakeholders identified 55 recommendations that would together meet more than 70% of the NEG/ECP targets for 2010 and 2020.
In 2004, the General Assembly passed PA 04-252, “An Act Concerning Climate Change,” which required the Governor’s Steering Committee to develop a “multisector, comprehensive climate change action plan” that “shall contain the policies and programs necessary to achieve the state’s goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 and 2020.” The Northeastern States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NEWCAUM) was hired to assist DEP to develop the plan based on the recommendations of the GSCCC.
The Climate Change Action Plan, completed in 2005, identified the gap between the state’s current GHG trajectory and its 2010 and 2020 goals. It laid out specific policies that together would get most of the way to those goals. It indicated how many tons of reduced GHG emissions would result from each policy. On that basis it established a realistic plan for how to reach the 2010 and 2020 goals. The plan reflected the sustained, systematic attention that the governor’s office and state agencies were devoting to climate change at that time. It said little, however, about reaching the 2050 goal or, indeed, about any action after 2020.
In the years since the CCAP was issued, the legislature and administration have issued scores of laws and administrative policy decisions implementing particular elements of the CCAP. However, many others have been implemented only partially or not at all.
The last time the state’s environmental policy staff (at that time within the Department of Environmental Protection) publicly assessed the status of the CCAP apparently was May 2010, when it published a document entitled “Draft greenhouse gas reduction strategies table.”20 At that time more than half (51%) of the 79 CCAP recommendations or sub-recommendations were categorized as “needs attention” or “behind schedule or stopped.” Fewer than half (46%) were categorized as “on schedule.” Several (4%) were not categorized. A large number (123) of other recommendations and “potential GHG reduction strategies” – which had not been included in the CCAP – were identified. Of these, few (12%) were categorized as “on schedule.” One-fifth (20%) were categorized as “needs attention” and the majority (68%) were not categorized.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Since then, although the threat of climate change to Connecticut and the world has grown ever more serious, efforts to implement the CCAP, or even to evaluate implementation of the state’s climate policy, appear to have waned. The Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change apparently has not met since 2011. Monitoring and evaluation of the CCAP appears to have gotten little attention in the Office of Climate Change, Technology, and Research, which was established in the new Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy after the merger that created the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in 2011.
Since the CCAP was created, scientific understanding of climate change has grown enormously. New technologies and concepts like smart grids and community shared distributed generation and new economic realities like the rapidly falling cost of renewable energy have transformed the possibilities for climate protection. But there has been no comprehensive revision of the state’s climate change action plan and little attention to what is necessary once the fast-approaching 2020 benchmark is passed.
Is Connecticut systematically addressing climate change in some other way? While the state’s 2013 Comprehensive Energy Strategy mentions climate change at various points, it makes no evaluation of the gap between the state’s current trajectory and its climate goals or of the policies necessary to close that gap. Although transportation is responsible for about 40 percent of Connecticut’s GHG emissions, the state’s February, 2015 transportation plan, Let’s Go CT!, makes no mention of climate change, or indeed of any environmental concern, in its statement of goals.21 It is time to reboot the state’s climate efforts.
A centerpiece of such an effort can be creating a new, updated Climate Change Action Plan. Such a plan needs to focus on the 35-year period from now to 2050 for which Connecticut has ambitious goals but no plan. It needs to establish interim goals, for example for each annual and each five-year period. It needs to identify the gaps between our current GHG trajectory and those future goals. It needs to lay out specific policies and ways to measure their contribution to GHG reduction. On that basis it needs to establish a realistic program to reach our goals. Such a program will not only provide a flight plan for reaching our destination; it will also provide a clear focus for mobilizing government, industry, labor, students, and other citizens to get there.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼3. How to reboot Connecticut’s climate change action plan
Connecticut’s original CCAP was created by a year-long process that included state agency heads acting as the Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change; the Environment, Transportation, Commerce, and Energy & Technology Committees of Connecticut’s General Assembly; and a wide swath of stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, and the public. A similar process is needed to create a new CCAP today. The legislative and executive branches of government – and the public at large — share responsibility for initiating that process.
The Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change was established in 2002 to coordinate the state’s actions on climate change. Initial members included the chairman of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control, the commissioners of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services and the Connecticut Department of Transportation, and an Undersecretary of the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management.”22 The GSCCC played a significant role in formulating and implementing climate policy in the past, but apparently has been entirely inactive since 2011. Reviving it or creating a successor organization could provide a way to jumpstart a renewed effort to meet our climate goals.
Last year Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley issued an executive order titled “Strengthening Climate Action in Maryland.”23 It provides a possible model for revivifying or replacing Connecticut’s GSCCC. It expands the Maryland Commission on Climate Change to include at least two representatives each from local governments, the business community, and non-profit organizations. It re-establishes Scientific and Technical, GHG Mitigation, and Adaptation and Response Working Groups, with both government and civil society representatives included. The Commission is charged with tasks that include addressing the challenge of low-income and otherwise vulnerable communities; assessing the impacts of climate change on the state’s economy, revenues, and investment decisions; and maintaining a comprehensive action plan, with five-year benchmarks, to achieve science-based reductions in Maryland’s GHG emissions to 80% below 2006 levels by 2050.
The crucial elements of the Maryland renewal process included incorporating non-governmental representatives; revitalizing committees and working groups; and drawing up an action plan for reaching an 80% GHG emissions ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼reduction by 2050, with interim benchmarks to measure progress toward the goal and provide an opportunity for course correction. These elements can be incorporated in a similar effort in Connecticut.
Connecticut legislators and committees played an important role in developing Connecticut’s CCAP and in passing legislation to implement it. Concerned members of the General Assembly can play a critical role in jumpstarting the process by holding hearings and other types of investigations into the status of current climate protection efforts and the possibilities for updating our CCAP.
There are a number of important elements that a new CCAP will need to incorporate. It will need to establish intermediate goals based on reducing our GHG emissions by at least an average of 2% per year starting now. That means, for example, that GHG emissions need to be cut by at least 10% between 2015 and 2020 (far below our current 2020 target) and at least an additional 20% by 2030. Between today and 2040 they need to be cut in half. An action plan will need regular updates to evaluate progress and provide for course corrections like the five-year reviews included in the Maryland plan.
It is also important to note that advances in climate science have raised the question of whether an 80% reduction in GHGs is sufficient.24 Current international climate negotiations are debating whether essentially all burning of fossil fuels must be stopped by the end of the century. An action plan that addresses the goal of the 2001 NEG/ECP Climate Change Action Plan to reduce regional GHG emissions “sufficiently to eliminate any dangerous threat to the climate” will need to consider both accelerating the timetable for GHG reduction and continuing the process beyond the current 80% target.
Like the original, a new CCAP will need to measure the gap between our current GHG emission trajectory and the goals we as a state have decided are necessary for us to achieve. It will need to delineate specific policies to close that gap. It will need to evaluate the specific contribution of each policy toward realizing that objective. It will need to lay out priorities and a “critical path” of what actions need to be initiated at what stage in the process.
Connecticut’s original CCAP provided an impressive depth of analysis of each of its Recommended Actions. This typically included narrative policy analysis; specific detailed proposals; evaluation of experience elsewhere; tons of contribution to GHG reduction; costs; and co-benefits. The new CCAP needs to do the same.
An accounting of co-benefits was a particular strength of the CCAP, one that can be extended even further in a future plan. The CCAP evaluated, for example, specific health benefits that would accompany its policy proposals and estimated their value. A future plan should take into consideration co- benefits for employment, security, health, safety, housing, transportation, land use, and other critical state concerns. In particular it should take advantage of the opportunity for a rapidly growing sector of the Connecticut economy devoted to making our state energy efficient and replacing fossil fuels with locally generated solar, wind, and other clean, renewable energy as a means to address the state’s severe job deficit. We still have 50,000 fewer jobs than we had before the Great Recession. We need to put a substantial proportion of our unemployed and underemployed people to work doing Connecticut’s share of protecting the world’s climate. And we need to ensure that any workers whose livelihoods are threatened by climate protection policies are protected against any adverse effects. Meeting our climate goals will be highly synergistic with other current and emerging state goals, including energy efficiency, transit- oriented development, improved housing, distributed generation of electricity – and countering our state’s severe and growing inequality.25
It is crucial that the process of creating a new CCAP provide the opportunity for broad consensus-building and public mobilization for support of the results. This process must not be short-circuited, for example by turning the project over to technical experts or by subsuming it under policy processes and documents like DEEP’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy whose primary focus is not climate protection. Folding the development of a new climate strategy into a non-climate policy process simply cannot accomplish the serious review, planning, and mobilization of institutional and popular support that is needed. Further, an adequate climate action plan must cover many areas, such as metropolitan planning, land use, long-term transportation strategy, housing, economic development, and others that go far beyond energy policy. Climate protection needs to be recognized – as it was by the Climate Change Action Plan, the Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change, and the Global Warming Solutions Act — as a distinct, overriding objective that establishes the parameters within which other decisions must be taken, rather than an “also to be considered” incidental factor for policymaking.
A decade ago, Connecticut’s Climate Change Action Plan put the state on a track to make the GHG emission reductions necessary to meet its relatively modest 2010 and 2020 targets. But the state has no plan for how to meet the far more arduous 80% reduction – an average of 2% a year – that our law requires by 2050. Yet such a reduction is what climate science says is necessary to protect ourselves, our posterity, and the rest of the world from threatening climate catastrophe.
Connecticut’s legislature, executive, and public need to chart a course to reach that ambitious but necessary goal. It is time for a new Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan.
1 Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan, January, 2005 http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/climatechange/ct_climate_change_action_plan_2005.pdf
2 Kiley Kroh, ‘Global Temperatures in April Tied for Hottest on Record,” climateprogress, May 20, 2014. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/05/20/3439571/april-temperatures-warmest-on-record/
3 Joe Romm, “IEA: World on Pace for 11 degree Warming.” ThinkProgress, January 4, 2012. http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/01/04/379694/iea-world-11-degree-warming-school-children- catastrophic/
4 NOAA, http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL182012_Sandy.pdf
5 Union of Concerned Scientists, Encroaching Tides, October, 2014, p. 52. http://www.theday.com/assets/pdf/NL3243081017.PDF
6 Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, 2013 Comprehensive Energy Strategy for Connecticut (CES), p. ii. This massive document is intended to guide all state energy policy from now to 2050. http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/energy/cep/2013_ces_final.pdf. Note that the requisite “breakthrough technologies,” ranging from smart grids to fuel cells, already exist; what is needed is to apply them.
7 Whatever the reasons for the change of baseline year, the difference in GHG emissions between them is relatively modest. Total emissions of carbon dioxide were 43.75 MMT in 1990 and 46.25 MMT in 2001. See DEEP, “Taking Action on Climate Change 2014 Progress Report,” June 6,2014 Table 1, p. 8. http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/climatechange/ct_progress_report_2014.pdf
8 Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, “Connecticut continues to achieve substantial reductions in climate pollution.” While the data in Figure 2 suggest a hopeful decoupling of GHG emissions and gross state product in recent years, it is too soon to tell if this is a permanent feature.
9 Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, “Connecticut continues to achieve substantial reductions in climate pollution,” http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/climatechange/2011progressreport-2014-10- 27/2011climatechangeupdate-2014-10-27.pdf
10 Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, “Connecticut continues to achieve substantial reductions in climate pollution”http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/climatechange/
￼￼￼11 ENE, climatevision2020, 2013 p. 9.
12 “Connecticut continues to achieve substantial reductions in climate pollution,” Table 1, p. 2. 13 ENE, climatevision2020, 2013 p. 9.
13 ENE, climatevision2020, 2013 p. 9.
14 “Connecticut continues to achieve substantial reductions in climate pollution,” pp. 1-2.
￼￼￼￼￼15 2013 Comprehensive Energy Strategy, p. ii.
16 Environmental and Energy Study Institute, “State Actions on Climate Change: A Focus on How Our Communities Grow,” October, 2009 p.6.
17 Personal communication to author, January 19, 2015. According to the same source, another climate law was passed in 1991 “with little effect.”
18 New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers, “Climate Change Action Plan 2001,” p. 6. https://www.novascotia.ca/nse/climate.change/docs/NEG-ECP.pdf
19 Pocantico Paper No. 6: “Leading by Example: Connecticut Collaborates to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” p. 22. http://cslib.cdmhost.com/cdm/ref/collection/p128501coll2/id/29760
21 Connecticut Department of Transportation, Let’s Go CT!: Connecticut’s Bold Vision for a Transportation Future, February 2015, p. 15-16. http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/documents/dcommunications/ctdot_30_yr.pdf
22 Gov. John G. Rowland, Executive Order No. 32, April 22, 2004. http://www.ctenergy.org/pdf/ExOrder32.pdf
23 The state of Maryland, Executive Order 01.01.2014.14, “Strengthening
Climate Action in Maryland.” Elements of the Executive Order that could be drawn on for a similar executive order in Connecticut are included below as Appendix A. http://climatechange.maryland.gov/site/assets/files/1838/climate_change_commission_fiinal_eo_01_01_2014_14.pdf
24 Connecticut’s GHG reduction targets were based on the early reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. More recent science has indicated that even faster reductions in greenhouse gas emissions may be necessary. See, for example, James Hansen et al., “The Case for Young People and Nature: The Path to a Healthy, Natural, Prosperous Future,”
p. 12. http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2011/20110505_
25 Connecticut is second among all the US states in income inequality. The gaps in income between wealthy families and poor and middle-income families have grown more in Connecticut than any state over the past three decades. Low-income households earn less today than they did 35 years ago. One Connecticut household in three is now “asset poor” — its savings, property, retirement, and other financial assets are so low that if its income ceased it could not survive for three months even at the federal poverty level. “Equity and Opportunity,” Connecticut Voices for Children, August 2014. http://www.ctvoices.org/sites/default/files/CB14EconomicSecurity.pdf