Conn. governor aims to work with neighbor states on climate

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2019

Appearing before the newly expanded Governor’s Council on Climate Change, Lamont said state officials need to take action, given President Trump’s skepticism of a warming planet.

“Climate change is an existential threat. It’s a real threat,” Lamont said. “And if they don’t understand that in the White House, we understand that here in Connecticut, and we understand it with our fellow governors.”

The council has been charged with monitoring Connecticut’s progress toward reducing the state’s carbon emissions, eventually to zero percent, by 2040. The group is scheduled to provide Lamont with a report on that progress by Jan. 15, 2021, and annually thereafter.

Also, the council will work with state agencies to come up with a strategy to assess and prepare for the impact of climate change in areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, natural resources and public health.

That work includes conducting an inventory of valuable assets and operations and coming up with plans to make them more resilient.

Lamont said yesterday he wants Connecticut to be a leader on climate change, noting the state’s goal of having a carbon-free electric grid by 2040 is more ambitious than neighboring states with a 2050 goal.

“Not bad. OK, I get it. But follow Connecticut’s lead,” he said. “We can do better than that.”

Lamont’s office has been working already with Rhode Island and Massachusetts on wind energy issues.

Last week, Lamont’s administration announced it had given chosen the Massachusetts-based offshore wind company Vineyard Wind to provide 804 megawatts through the development of the Park City Wind Project in Bridgeport (Energywire, Dec. 6).

The contracts still need regulatory approval. If finalized, the project will provide the equivalent of 14% of the state’s electricity supply, the largest purchase of renewable energy in Connecticut’s history.