HARTFORD (AP) – Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday signed an executive order aimed at reducing pollution and tackling climate change, a month after withdrawing support for a regional climate initiative, fearing it could further increases gas prices.
Under the ordinance, the state will review all public buildings in terms of energy efficiency, develop household appliance standards and building codes aimed at reducing energy costs, seek to make the transport bus fleet fully electric pool by 2035 and will expand statewide air quality monitoring.
There will also be a new Connecticut Environmental Equity and Justice Advisory Council to address higher pollution levels and climate change mitigation, particularly in the poorest and most diverse communities. racial. The panel will advise the commissioner of the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on actions the agency can take.
State officials will also assess whether the stricter California emissions standards for medium and heavy vehicles can be adopted in Connecticut. And the order directs state officials to work with towns and villages on projects to guard against the effects of climate change, including flooding.
“What we haven’t been able to do through legislation here in Connecticut over the past two years, we are currently taking the lead with this executive order,” Lamont said shortly before signing the executive order at a table. outside the State Capitol. “And it’s really important that we lead by example, the state government leads by example.”
Lamont, a Democrat, said the state would borrow money to pay for the efforts, but did not immediately say how much. A meeting of the government bonds committee is scheduled for next week. The state will also use some of the hundreds of millions of dollars it receives from federal infrastructure legislation for pollution reduction and climate resilience projects.
The proposed Regional Transport and Climate Initiative, aimed at drastically reducing greenhouse gas pollution from transport, lost support this fall, in part because it feared it might meet a gasoline tax or a carbon tax. Lamont and officials in Massachusetts and Rhode Island initially supported the plan, while leaders in other New England states were skeptical.
This would have forced the major suppliers of gasoline and diesel fuel to buy “quotas” for the pollution caused by the use of the fuels they sell in the region. According to the plan, the number of emission allowances would have decreased each year, generating billions for states to invest in transport options that reduce carbon emissions – like public transport, buses, cars and trucks to zero. emission and charging stations for electric vehicles.
Lamont said Thursday he doesn’t think the regional proposal will return to the state legislature in next year’s session, but hopes it resurfaces at some point in the future.
The new governor’s order comes after a state report in September said Connecticut was not on track to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% from levels from 2001 by 2030.
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection commissioner Katie Dykes said the state would not be able to meet its pollution reduction targets without legislative action, but executive agencies will all they can under their current authority.
“We know this is the crisis of our time and it calls for all of us to get involved and engage,” Dykes said.