Global Warming Bill in Connecticut

Derek WalkerToday’s post is by Derek Walker, deputy director of the State Climate Campaign at Environmental Defense Fund.

Connecticut will soon become the fifth state, after California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Washington, to enact a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions. The state’s Republican Governor, Jodi Rell, announced this week that she will sign the global warming bill passed by Connecticut’s House and Senate. Called Act Concerning Connecticut Global Warming Solutions (HB-5600), the bill has much in common with the California legislation, Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB-32) – also signed into law by a Republican governor.

We at EDF and our allies in Connecticut (Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Environment Northeast, Environment Connecticut, Clean Water Action, the Nature Conservancy and others) almost decided to delay our push for AB-32-style legislation until 2009. The state’s economic performance and job growth has been stagnant, and our initial assessment of the legislative appetite for a strong global warming bill was not encouraging. In spite of these choppy seas, we decided to set sail this year even if it became a two-year fight.

As the campaign kicked into full gear late this winter, prominent legislators and local officials around the state started to get on board. Several Connecticut newspapers endorsed HB-5600 and the New York Times applauded the measure, calling it "one more example of states’ taking on this important issue in the absence of aggressive federal policies." Ultimately, HB-5600 won decisive passage in the Connecticut House and unanimous passage in the Senate.

The new Connecticut bill requires emissions in the state to be 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050. These reductions are consistent with what analysts say developed countries must make to avoid the most dangerous consequences of global warming.

The bill requires Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection to devise a plan for achieving the required reductions, and authorizes the state to pursue a regional, multi-sector cap-and-trade program with other states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

This will be an incredibly hot summer in the world of climate policy. The U.S. Senate will debate the Lieberman and Warner Climate Security Act in June. California regulators are putting the finishing touches on a broad set of recommendations for achieving the greenhouse gas reductions required by AB-32. Many nations and groups ("blocs") of nations are busily negotiating details of a new international climate treaty.

Connecticut’s bold action creates critical momentum for strong national and international policies to combat global warming.

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  1. Posted May 24, 2008 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    These ridiculous Bills will be repealed after they do a little research, or after people wise up and start informing their reps. 30000 and counting scientists say

    “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects on the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

    What are your scientists’ response to that?

  2. Posted June 9, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Click the Science link on the left, to get educated. You need an education on the science of global warming. Your current sources are extremely misguided.

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