DEEP: 2005 - Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan Released

Top 40
Environmental Accomplishments of the Past 40 Years

Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan Released
(2005)

Background
In 2005, the Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change (GSC) released Connecticut's Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP).  The plan outlined 55 action steps aimed at combating climate change by reducing the volume of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in our state.
 
Release of the CCAP was a landmark moment - as it represented the culmination of early work and thinking on the issue of climate change and also set the state for new initiatives that would follow.
 
In August 2001, the Conference of the New England Governors & Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) signed a resolution concerning energy and the environment and adopted one of the first regional Climate Change Action Plans. The overall vision of this plan was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level that stabilizes the earth’s climate and eliminates the negative impacts of climate change. Connecticut’s participation in the NEG/ECP process signaled the beginning of our long-term commitment to action on climate change.

In October 2002, Connecticut state agencies gathered for the "Connecticut Climate Change Action Plan Summit." This summit, attended by 22 participants from 13 state agencies, resulted in a framework for establishing the GSC and for developing a climate action plan specifically for Connecticut.

Following that historic summit, the GSC was officially established –comprised of six agency heads from the Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Utility Control, Transportation, Administrative Services, the Office of Policy and Management, and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. In 2003, Connecticut launched a robust stakeholder process to solicit input and comments that would be compiled into a Stakeholder’s Recommendations report released in January 2004. This report in turn became the basis for the CCAP. Since the release of the plan in January 2005, numerous regulatory, legislative and voluntary initiatives have been launched to both reduce Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) levels as well as to investigate how the state should adapt to the climate-related changes already underway. Connecticut’s accomplishments since 2005 include:

  • Launching the Connecticut Clean Energy Options program through which electricity customers may support clean renewable energy.
  • Establishing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a first of its kind cap & trade program for GHGs in the United States. RGGI caps then ultimately reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from large fossil fuel-fired power plants in 10 northeast states.
  • Adopting California GHG tailpipe standards for automobiles sold in Connecticut.
  • Expanding the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requirements to include mandatory levels for energy efficiency and combined heat & power.
  • Adopting the Connecticut Global Warming Solutions Act (PA 08-98) by which Connecticut became one of only six states to establish mandatory GHG reduction targets (10% below 1990 levels by 2020, 80% below 2001 levels by 2050) and require a planning process built on stakeholder input to develop GHG inventories, reduction strategies, economic and environmental modeling and a regulatory agenda
  • Forming the GSC Adaptation Subcommittee to study and recommend action on climate change impacts on CT infrastructure, natural resources and habitats, public health, and agriculture.

While Connecticut has taken some good first steps in reducing its GHG emissions, much work remains to be done to achieve the 2020 and 2050 targets established in the Global Warming Solutions Act as well as to meet the various planning milestones set out in this Act.

 
More Information

Connecticut Climate Change
Climate Change


What You Can Do

The Connecticut Climate Change website contains useful tips for how we can decrease the size of our carbon footprint.  Among the suggestions:
  • Make a Climate Action Pledge
  • Cut Energy Costs and Green Your Home
  • Clean Up Your Commute
  • Drive a Climate Friendly Vehicle
  • Buy Locally Grown Food
  • Recycle
  • Support Clean Energy through the CT Clean Energy Option
  • Install Clean Energy at Your Home
  • Reduce Synthetic Fertilizer Use

"Connecticut's climate change action planning process represents what is good about democracy."
Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), March 2004