||Governor Rowland, the other New England Governors, and the Eastern Canadian Premiers worked together in 2001 on a climate change plan, pledging to reduce emission of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2010, 10 percent further by 2020, and 75-80 percent over the long run. Since the adoption of the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) Climate Change Action Plan in August 2001, a tight inter-agency network has made great progress in laying the groundwork for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut.
The state's climate change initiative is directed by the Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change, which is comprised of the commissioners of the agencies that have a large influence on the state's carbon footprint: Environmental Protection, Public Utility Commission, Transportation, Administrative Services, the Office of Policy and Management, and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. Staff from these agencies form the Climate Change Coordinating Committee and carry out the day-to-day planning, analysis, coordination, and implementation of greenhouse gas reduction measures for the state.
The Connecticut state agencies began a formal collaboration to address climate change in 2002. The CT climate change initiative has achieved major milestones since then and continues to rely on innovative programs to bring about GHG reductions. Highlights include:
Interagency collaboration and structure - The Governor's Steering Committee on Climate Change (GSC), made up of agency heads from the CT Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Utility Control, Administrative Services, and Transportation; Office of Policy & Management; and the Clean Energy Fund, directs Connecticut's climate change program. A staff-level group from these agencies meets monthly. For more information, visit: www.ctclimatechange.com.
Initiative on climate adaptation - In December 2008, the GSC created a new Subcommittee on Adaptation. The Subcommittee is focusing on the following four areas and will submit a report on climate impacts to the legislature by the end of the year: infrastructure, public health, natural resources and ecosystems, and agriculture. For more information, visit: www.ctclimatechange.com/Adaptation.
Leading by example - CT state agencies are working together to lead by example in reducing GHGs. Initiatives include upgrading energy efficiency in state buildings; reducing vehicle miles traveled; purchasing cleaner vehicles for the state fleet; purchasing environmentally preferable and clean energy products; building green; and implementing education and outreach.
Clean energy communities - Over half of Connecticut's 169 municipalities have committed to buying 20 percent clean energy by 2010 and implementing energy efficiency measures. As residents and businesses in these communities sign on to the CT Clean Energy Option, they earn free solar photovoltaic panels through the CT Clean Energy Fund. For more information, visit: www.ctcleanenergy.com/communities.
Public policy achievements - CT has implemented the following Climate Change Action Plan programs that will result in significant GHG reductions: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; CA Low Emissions Vehicle II standards and corresponding GHG labeling of cars; a Clean Energy Option for CT ratepayers; a Renewable Portfolio Standard that requires electricity providers to include a minimum of 20 percent renewable energy in their loads by 2020; and ratepayer funds that support clean energy installations and electricity, oil, and gas efficiency.