Climate Bill HB 5004 Passes the Connecticut State House

Legislators posed after HB5004 passed the Connecticut State House

Hartford, CT—This evening, in response to mounting support in both the legislature and the public, the Connecticut State House voted 94-56 to pass this year’s most important piece of climate legislation after four-and-a-half hours of debate.

House Bill 5004, the Connecticut Climate Protection Act, updates emissions targets to be in line with the state’s long-term pollution reduction goals, works to rethink our reliance on natural gas, incentivizes solar growth, and makes HVAC systems more efficient. At the time of House passage the bill, introduced by Representative Christine Palm, had 64 co-sponsors.

This comes on the heels of the House’s 98-49 passage last week of HB 5232, which would increase Connecticut’s solar energy capacity.

Members of the CT Coalition for Climate Action (CCCA) applauded the House’s action and urged the Senate to follow suit:

“Last week’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory showed Connecticut has been losing ground on emissions reductions,” said Charles Rothenberger, climate and energy attorney at Save the Sound. “We’re already feeling the effects of climate change and simply can’t afford another year without major action. To get back on track, we need policies that will deliver deep cuts to emissions and hold the state’s feet to the fire on maintaining those cuts long-term. Climate champions in the House have kicked things off with the passage of these bills; now the Senate must keep up the momentum and get these measures over the finish line before next Wednesday. The faster we get serious about meeting Connecticut’s climate goals, the easier it will be to achieve them.”

“Climate change threatens our economy, public safety, and our children’s future,” said Chris Phelps, Environment Connecticut State Director. “A healthier, safer, and prosperous fossil fuel-free economy is not just possible, it’s imperative if we are going to leave a better future for our children. HB 5004 is a down-payment on the action Connecticut must take to do its part to eliminate the pollution that is fueling climate change.”

“The Connecticut Climate Protection Act, HB 5004, is a critical step to ensure Connecticut is ready to meet the challenges of climate change and protect its families and businesses,” said Shannon Laun, Vice President of CLF Connecticut. “We deserve bold commitment from our decision-makers to address our overheating planet and all the climate impacts threatening the people we love. The House’s support of this bill is an indication of that commitment.”

“We applaud the passage of HB 5004, the CT Climate Protection Act, in the Connecticut General Assembly’s House of Representatives. This is the most comprehensive, no-nonsense bill in the Connecticut legislature that addresses the urgent issue of climate change. From updating the Global Warming Solutions Act to business-friendly climate-related measures, the bill is built on carrots, not sticks, and we need it now for our health, economy, labor force, and quality of life. We look forward to the Connecticut Senate taking up the bill and ensuring it passes before the end of this year’s session,” said Nathan Frohling, Director of External Affairs for The Nature Conservancy in CT.  

“We applaud House Speaker Matt Ritter for making climate a priority this year. This legislation has been a long time in the making with the dedicated leadership of Representative Christine Palm and will help put our state back on the path toward our climate goals,” said Lori Brown, Executive Director, CT League of Conservation Voters.

“Climate impacts are increasingly costing Connecticut residents, farms, businesses, and communities. To alleviate these consequences, state leaders must take bold, meaningful action,” said Samantha Dynowski, State Director of Sierra Club’s Connecticut Chapter. “We applaud the passage of House Bill 5004 in the House and urge the Senate to swiftly pass this bill to update our state’s climate law. Doing so would put Connecticut on a path to transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean and renewable solutions that reduce health-harming, climate-destroying emissions.”

“The Interreligious Eco-Justice Network is pleased that the Connecticut General Assembly has taken an important step in addressing climate change by passing HB 5004, the Climate Protection Act. People of faith have a moral and ethical responsibility to care for the planet and all who live on it and, while climate change will impact everyone, our most vulnerable residents will be hurt the worst. HB 5004 provides smart and sensible solutions that address climate change, provide green jobs, and improve quality of life. We urge the Connecticut State Senate to pass HB 5004 and send it to the Governor’s desk,” said Terri Eickel, Executive Director, Interreligious Eco-Justice Network.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s recent release of the annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions inventory, which analyzed data from 2022 (the most recent available), shows a sharply increasing emissions trend for all major sectors. To meet the state’s legally mandated targets for 2030 and 2050, emissions should be falling year over year. See the CCCA’s reaction to that report here.

Other key bills that have yet to get a vote include:

SB 11, which helps municipalities prepare for the impacts of climate change and improves resiliency by updating preparedness, evacuation, and mitigation plans, and including resiliency planning in building codes.

HB 5485, An Act Concerning Transportation Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles, which recognizes that electrification is the future of transportation across the nation and establishes an electric vehicle coordinating council to prepare Connecticut for that future. It also allows Connecticut to capitalize on federal funding to update our transportation infrastructure, paving the way for the coming shift to zero emission vehicles that will help address the state’s biggest source of greenhouse gases.

The CT Coalition for Climate Action comprises environmental advocates, health experts, labor and municipal representatives, and others advocating for climate action in Connecticut. Formed in 2023, the Coalition’s central demand is that Connecticut keep its promise to cut climate pollution and protect our future. Members of the coalition’s steering committee are Save the Sound, 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, Sierra Club CT, and the Nature Conservancy in CT. More information at www.climateactionct.org

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