Hartford environmental advocates urging legislature to sign multi-state effort to combat climate change

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn., (WTNH)– Governor Lamont was pushing legislative efforts to help prevent climate change during the legislative session in Hartford on Wednesday.

This was a key issue Gov. Lamont was trying to push and it didn’t happen. Now, environmental advocates are asking lawmakers to take it back up and sign onto a multi-state effort.

The Transportation and Climate Initiative is a multi-state effort to combat climate change by lowering greenhouse gases and emissions. Environmental advocates and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin sounded off Wednesday, saying the legislative proposal should be top of priority for Connecticut lawmakers.

“We’re all connected. Our world is connected. When our oceans develop dead zones, that affects us. When our west burns, that affects us with serious public health consequences,” Mayor Bronin said. “There were days when our kids couldn’t go outside because the air was so polluted with the smoke from those western wildfires.”

Pediatricians say climate change is also a public health issue.

“The stance of the American Academy of Pediatrics is clear. Our children deserve a healthy, liveable planet. And inaction would be an injustice to them,” said Kasia Saar, Connecticut chapter climate advocate of the American Academy of Pediatrics and pulmonary pediatric fellow at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

But opponents say the cost would get passed on to taxpayers, ultimately making gas prices go up by about five cents a gallon.

“Let’s look at green initiatives, ways that we can control traffic, ways that we can do smarter growth around our urban centers and looking at open spaces,” said Kevin Kelly, Stratfor’s Senate Republic Leader.

Advocates with Save the Sound pushed back, saying TCI is supported by red and blue leaders in other states and shouldn’t be partisan in the first place.

“Ten years ago, we started down this path with developing the transportation climate initiative,” said Charles Rothenberger, climate and energy attorney of Save the Sound. ” It was republican Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell that actually brought Connecticut into that process.”

Lawmakers are expected to come in for a special session this month, but this is not on the agenda as of now.

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