PRESS RELEASE: CT Coalition for Climate Action Joined Legislators in Support of HB 5004, Highlighted Health Effects

Hartford, CT – Today, the Connecticut Coalition for Climate Action joined Rep. Christine Palm, Rep. Geraldo Reyes, Rep. Aundré Baumgardner, Rep. Dominique Johnson, Rep. John Michael Parker, Rep. Sarah Keitt, Rep. Jennifer Leeper, Rep. David Michel, Rep. Amy Morrin Bello, and Rep. Anne Hughes along with business leaders, health care professionals, students, and others in support of Raised Bill HB 5004. The Coalition, a broad-based group of more than 40 health care providers, scientists, environmental organizations, religious groups, and others representing more than 300,000 members, was formed one year ago to address the climate crisis, public health, and environmental justice concerns facing Connecticut.

HB 5004 seeks to advance the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energy, incentivizing green economy startup businesses, planning for the phase-out of our reliance on natural gas, accelerating a shift away from fossil fuel heating to clean electric heat pumps, supporting local sustainable purchasing, and leveraging nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change.

The legislation builds on Connecticut’s long history of innovation and environmental stewardship while better aligning our efforts with those of our neighboring states. HB 5004 will position Connecticut to be successful in our common goals of protecting our shared environment, improving public health, increasing clean renewable energy, and stabilizing energy costs.

Dr. Mark Mitchell, a member of the coalition steering committee, founder of Connecticut Health Professionals for Climate Action and chair of Connecticut Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Council (CEEJAC), commented on the health effects of climate change during the event and highlighted the provisions in HB 5004 that help low-income individuals, people of color, children, and the elderly.

Data was presented at the press conference that highlighted the health effects of climate change. “According to a 2020 report released by the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health, heat stress contributed to nearly 500 emergency department visits and hospitalizations per year between 2006 and 2016 in Connecticut. The health cost of inaction is not something we can afford to pass on to future generations,” said Stefan Marczuk, a UCONN medical student.

Dr. Sanjiv Godse, a pediatrician and pediatric pulmonology fellow, added, “Climate change is not just an environmental issue; it is a profound threat to human health and well-being. As we continue to witness the devastating effects of climate change around the globe—ranging from extreme weather events to rising sea levels—it becomes increasingly clear that the health of our planet is intricately linked to the health of its inhabitants.  HB 5004 will help to bring Connecticut into a greener and healthier future.”

The coalition sees the tangible emission reduction targets and incentivizing carbonization efforts as a win for public health. “As physicians on the front lines, we treat patients daily with asthma and other respiratory diseases that are exacerbated by climate change. HB 5004 will re-establish Connecticut’s commitment to protecting public health by setting us on a path to achieving the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” added Dr. Anthony Yoder, chair of health and public policy for the American College of Physicians, CT Chapter and steering committee member of the coalition.

The coalition also continues to express the urgency of action this session. “Connecticut lawmakers have an opportunityand an obligation—to align our policies with the public’s demand for action on climate,” said Lori Brown, executive director of the CT League of Conservation Voters.  “House Bill 5004 contains specific steps that the state can take to fulfill that obligation by updating our laws and providing creative incentives. These measures are urgent, comprehensive, and actionable.

“The way we heat our buildings is partly why Connecticut fails to meet federal air quality standards year after year—which means people suffering from more asthma, heart disease, and other health damage, especially our most vulnerable residents,” said Shannon Laun, Conservation Law Foundation Vice President for Connecticut. “House Bill 5004 will cut that dangerous pollution and help people breathe easier and live healthier lives.”

“Twenty years ago, an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the Connecticut legislature enacted a law committing our state to cutting its emissions of the pollution that fuels global warming by 80% by 2050. Unfortunately, so far our state has failed to keep that commitment,” said Chris Phelps, Environment Connecticut State Director. “HB 5004 would help our state get back on track to meeting its commitment to cut global warming pollution and fight climate change to protect our environment and economy for future generations.”

Charles Rothenberger, climate and energy attorney for Save the Sound, said, “It’s time to treat climate change with the seriousness it deserves, and hold ourselves accountable to meaningful action to reduce emissions. Connecticut must update its core climate law, the Global Warming Solutions Act, to honor the climate promises we’ve made and build a sustainable economy together.”

The detailed agenda for the coalition can be found at

The Coalition Steering Committee includes the American College of Physicians, CT Chapter, ConnPirg, Conservation Law Foundation, CT Health Professionals for Climate Action, CT League of Conservation Voters, Environment Connecticut, Interreligious Eco-Justice Network, Mitchell Environmental Health Associates, People’s Action for Clean Energy, Save the Sound, Sierra Club Connecticut, The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

More information about the Connecticut Coalition for Climate Action can be found at


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