HEADLINES

Malloy Signs Order Establishing Climate Change Council

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has signed an executive order directing the establishment of a new council that will ensure the State of Connecticut is on a path to meet its greenhouse gas emissions goals by 2050 and remains a national leader in addressing climate change.
 
The Governor made the announcement on Earth Day, stating that Connecticut, like all entities throughout the world, must do its part to reduce carbon pollution.
 
“Connecticut has been a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions – we’ve already reached a reduction to 1990 levels, and we’re well on track to being 10 percent below those levels by 2020.  And today, with the formation of this council, we are putting ourselves in position to reach our next big target of getting to 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050,” Governor Malloy said.  “We are proving in Connecticut that you can both protect the environment and find ways to be energy efficient.  We are working to ensure that Connecticut enjoys a cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy future, so we can support economic development, job growth, and improved quality of life.  If we are to build a brighter future tomorrow, we need to make smart decisions on sustainability today.”
 
Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, “Every day, each one of us has the opportunity to lessen our impact on the planet – and each good choice gets us closer to cleaner air and water, more livable communities, and a better quality of life for everyone.  Connecticut’s leadership is in improved public transportation like CTfastrak and expanded rail service, investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives, and in prioritizing the public health and security threats that come with climate change.”
 
In 2008, Connecticut adopted the Global Warming Solutions Act, committing the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and then to 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050.  The state is well ahead of meeting its 2020 target, and the Governor said he is confident that the 2050 goal can be met.
 
The Governor’s Council on Climate Change will be responsible for establishing interim goals that, if met, will ensure the state achieves that 2050 target.  Comprised of 15 members, the group will recommend policies, regulations and legislative actions to meet these targets, and report those findings to the Governor no later than January 1, 2016, and biannually thereafter.
 
Its membership will include:
 
  • Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection [chair]
  • Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Commissioner of the Department of Transportation
  • Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services
  • Commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department
  • Commissioner of the Department of Housing
  • Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management
  • A Commissioner of the Public Utilities and Regulatory Authority
  • Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Green Bank
  • Executive Director of the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaption
  • Don Strait, Executive Director and President of Connecticut Fund for the Environment
  • Lynn Stoddard, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University
  • John Humphries, Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs
  • Two representatives from business and industry
 
“The direction set by the Governor’s Executive Order will enable Connecticut to remain a national leader in efforts to address Climate Change,” DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said.  “As Chairman of the new Governor’s Council on Climate Change, I look forward to working with my fellow state agency heads and the other non-governmental members of the team to develop and implement strategies that will continue reducing harmful emissions while building a strong and sustainable economy for our state.”
 
State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., Senate Chair of the Environment Committee, said, “Climate change is not a distant hypothetical problem, it is the striking reality we live in, bringing about more destructive storms, droughts, and other serious environmental consequences that we cannot ignore.  Connecticut has taken important steps toward decreasing our carbon footprint and protecting our environment.  I thank Governor Malloy for establishing this new body, which will help ensure we stay on track toward a cleaner, healthier environmental future.”
 
“Tackling climate change is a huge global task and I am proud to be from a state that is not relying on others to make a difference but is helping to lead the way,” State Representative James Albis, House Chair of the Environment Committee, said.  “Connecticut has already exceeded its 2020 goals for reducing carbon emissions and we need this council to ensure that all future emission goals are met.  Thank you Governor Malloy for making tackling climate change a priority for Connecticut not just on Earth Day but every day.”
 
Governor Malloy today also announced that the State Bond Commission will consider at its next meeting funding for the “Lead by Example” program, which targets state facilities by making them more energy efficient to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also saving taxpayer dollars.
 
Under the initiative, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has developed a standardized performance contracting program and is coordinating with several other state agencies ways to reduce energy consumption.  Specific examples of facilities being targeted include the Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, Department of Correction facilities in Somers and Suffield, and several Department of Motor Vehicles offices throughout the state.

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