Wednesday, May 7, 2008

CT Legislature Passes Climate Bill

Both houses of the Connecticut Legislature has passed a sweeping new Climate protection bill. Governor Jody Rell has not yet signed it but is expected to do so. See the details below as reported by The Nature Conservancy:
Monday, the Connecticut State Senate, in a unanimous vote, approved Bill 5600, An Act Concerning Global Warming Solutions. Passed last week by the House, the bill will now go to the Governor's desk, and even though the recently announced state budget woes have thrown many initiatives into doubt, it appears the Governor will sign this bill.
The bill establishes a mandatory greenhouse gas emissions cap, requiring the state to reduce our emissions by 10% below 1990 levels by 2020, and by 80% by 2050. The legislation includes provisions directing state agencies to investigate and implement actions to achieve the caps.The bill also includes a provision, introduced by The Nature Conservancy, that directs the existing Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change to establish a subcommittee, comprised of additional state agencies and outside experts, to assess the impacts of climate change on Connecticut's human infrastructure and natural communities, and to make recommendations for enabling our human and natural communities to adapt to the those impacts. Here is the link to the bill's language.If Governor Rell signs it, Connecticut will join 4 other states (California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Washington) that have established mandatory greenhouse gas emission caps, and 3 other states (Alaska, New York and Maryland) that have established state bodies to look at how to prepare for and mitigate the impacts of climate change on natural and human communities.
The emissions cap levels are in accord with the reductions that the Interplantetary Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), among others, have said are necessary globally if we are to have any chance of keeping carbon dioxide levels in the range of 450 parts per million (they're currently at about 380-390, up from about 260-280 pre-industrial). That 450 ppm level will create very serious impacts, but exceeding it will be catastrophic, according to many scientists.
The Nature Conservancy is on the Steering Committee of the coalition that introduced the legislation; the other members being Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Environment Northeast, Clean Water Action, Environment Connecticut, and Environmental Defense.
Legislators who warrant particular mention for their efforts on this bill include Representatives Pat Widlitz and Bob Godfrey and Senators Don Williams, John McKinney and Ed Meyer.
Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 26 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at out the National IPL Blog.Find discounts on energy saving products at

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