PRESS RELEASE: CT Advocates Call for Climate Action in Special Session

Hartford, CT – Climate advocates are urgently calling for climate action this year. While the regular legislative session is over, there have been recent reports that both the governor and legislative leaders could be supportive of a special session.  

Climate action is urgent, and a special session could be a crucial step towards meeting Connecticut’s climate goals. During the regular session, the House overwhelmingly passed the Connecticut Climate Protection Act, but the Senate failed to call a vote before time ran out on May 8. This was despite DEEP’s report the previous week that Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise. Residents are already feeling the impacts of climate change along Connecticut’s coasts, and we can’t afford another year of inaction. 

As we head into what is predicted to be an “extraordinary” season for hurricanes and tropical storms, measures to reduce emissions and take long-term action to change the conditions that drive these storms should be a priority. Our region’s recent history demonstrates the very real costs of inaction, when residents, municipalities, and the State are left to clean up the damage wrought by climate change. And those costs are rising; a recent study indicates that the number of billion-dollar climate related disasters has risen steadily over the last few decades. As of 2024, the number of such events so far this decade is over 70 percent of those seen through the entire 2010s. 

It’s no surprise that data from Yale Program for Climate Change Communication shows that the majority of Connecticut voters want climate action now.  

“In the face of increasing climate impacts, our neighboring states have updated their climate laws by adopting more stringent targets, establishing greater accountability, and providing mechanisms for enforcing the law,” said Charles Rothenberger, climate and energy attorney with Save the Sound. “Connecticut’s law is showing its age and its time that it was updated to reflect the times. As other jurisdictions have already done, we must update our emissions goals and establish a framework of accountability, authority, and enforceability to ensure we move from aspiration to success.” 

It’s time for Connecticut lawmakers to side with residents and stand up to fossil fuel companies, so advocates are urging Governor Lamont to call a special session to act on climate.  

“As the impacts of climate change grow every year, so must Connecticut’s response. Inaction on climate is too costly and dangerous for Connecticut residents, businesses, and communities,” said Samantha Dynowski, State Director, Sierra Club Connecticut. “While the legislature failed in the regular session, Governor Lamont and legislative leaders can and must ensure our state makes progress on climate mitigation and resiliency in a Special Session.” 

Here’s what more members of the Connecticut Coalition for Climate Action had to say: 

“Our decision-makers need to do whatever it takes to address climate change and its impacts,” said Shannon Laun, Vice President of CLF Connecticut. “That’s why it’s their responsibility to hold this special session and pass the climate bill that was a top priority this past session. Connecticut’s government made a commitment to us that they would cut the dangerous carbon pollution overheating our planet. We’re all tired of delay – it’s time for lawmakers to own up to that commitment now.” 

“Meeting Connecticut’s climate goals requires active engagement from a wide range of stakeholders,” said Mark Scully, President of People’s Action for Clean Energy, “including the governor, the legislature, businesses and residents. In their recently ended legislative session, the state senate failed to do their part, leaving vital climate legislation on the table. It is time for the governor to call them back to finish the job by passing the Connecticut Climate Protection Act. The rest of us depend on you.”   

“Heat waves and extreme weather are already devastating parts of the United States and experts are warning of a record-breaking hurricane season as well. We know that severe weather impacts those who are poor or lack resources to escape it. Whether someone lives in a rural community dependent on a well, or in an urban community without access to cooling centers, our most vulnerable residents will suffer the most. We call on Governor Lamont to schedule a special session to address climate change.” said  
Teresa Eickel, Executive Director of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network.  

“We’re facing predictions of a dangerous Atlantic hurricane season, record breaking ocean temperatures, dangerous heat for vulnerable citizens, and a real chance of climate-related forest fire smoke from Canada, and it appears that our Connecticut legislature and administration dawdle at taking climate seriously. How does it feel? Not good. To their credit, Governor Lamont and legislative leadership have suggested they may support a special session to pass the best climate bill we have before us this year – HB 5004. They need to do it if we are to have confidence that our government is looking out for the best interests of our citizens,” said Nathan Frohling, Director of External Affairs for The Nature Conservancy in CT.    

“We are outraged by the legislature’s inaction on climate,” said Lori Brown, Executive Director of the CT League of Conservation Voters. “That is why Governor Lamont must convene a special session and get our state elected leaders back to the Capitol to continue the work they say they support. The Governor must use his authority to ensure that climate is included in the call, and not wait another year as the impacts of climate change become increasingly severe.” 

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 


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