Advocates: Failure of CT Climate Change Legislation Stagnates State Progress

May 15, 2024

By Edwin J. Viera

Bills addressing climate change are some of the biggest casualties of Connecticut's legislative session.

One in particular is House Bill 5004, an all-inclusive bill designed to implement reforms keeping the state climate goals on track. The bill failed in the Senate, due to Democrats not giving enough time to consider it and Republican threats to filibuster it.

Samantha Dynowski, state director of the Connecticut chapter of the Sierra Club, said climate action is not moving in the right direction.

"They clawed back the climate legislation they passed three years ago by not passing the clean transportation regs that were presented to the Legislature in late 2023," Dynowski pointed out. "Not only are we not making progress forward, we're actually taking steps backward."

While the bill had wide support, some felt it encroached on their freedoms and limited energy supply competition. Dynowski argued climate legislation's need is only growing beyond climate impacts. A recent report shows greenhouse gas emissions grew in 2021, a trend set to continue without legislative action.

While some bills failed in committee, others did not pass a vote in one of the General Assembly's chambers. Dynowski contended climate action was not as much of a priority for lawmakers as it should have been but she acknowledged there was movement on some issues.

"There was in the bonding package, $25 million for heat pump deployment, so that will be helpful," Dynowski emphasized. "And in the ARPA funding package, a program for school solar and a requirement that all school districts will assess schools for solar."

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