Doing Our Part in Addressing Climate Change

February 14, 2024

Our Chairs of the legislature's Environment and Energy Committees have a number of ideas on how Connecticut can do its part in addressing climate change.

Representatives Joe Gresko of Stratford, House Chair of the Environment Committee, and Jonathan Steinberg of Westport, House Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee, write in a recent opinion piece that Connecticut needs to do better at helping address climate change and they outline ways to do that.

"While Connecticut alone does not contribute to this problem, it is clear that local emissions, particularly from the transportation sector, play a significant role. We know that our failure to curb these emissions, and the resulting poor air quality, exacerbates acute and chronic respiratory problems like asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and other diseases; sometimes, it even leads to pre mature death," they said.

Impact on Human Health of Climate Change

The two Chairs cite a report from Yale and Save the Sound that highlights the urgency to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "Very real climate impacts continue to hammer our residents: more extreme heat days and accompanying respiratory issues, more frequent and severe storms, rising sea level and increased flood events ……and Connecticut is not doing its fair share,” the report stated.

Here a few of Gresko and Steinberg's recommendations:

  • Accelerate the pace and scale of deploying renewable energy, including distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar.
  • Facilitate the transition to electric heat pumps and water heaters, beginning with clean heat standards for new construction.
  • Expand our charging infrastructure in order to meet the projected market demand for electric vehicles.

"We know our state had long been a leader on securing a healthy future for Connecticut, establishing economy wide targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implementing the policies to help us achieve those targets. Now, however, Connecticut is falling behind on achieving our own climate goals."

You can read Reps. Gresko and Steinberg's full op-ed in CT Mirror here.