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Connecticut Sees Decline In Carbon Emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions have dropped in Connecticut since 1990, according to a release.
Greenhouse gas emissions have dropped in Connecticut since 1990, according to a release. Photo Credit: Flickr user Gerald Simmons

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- A new report conducted by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shows that the state has made progress toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The state is working to meet the statutory mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050, according to a statement from DEEP.

“Make no mistake about it, Connecticut is doing its part to slow global warming," Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. "In fact, we are a national leader in efforts to reduce the amount of carbon emissions being put into the atmosphere. Connecticut rolled our emissions back to 1990 levels two years sooner than anticipated."

Data in the report demonstrates that total emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate pollutants from power plants, automobile tailpipes, household boilers, waste-to-energy facilities and other sources peaked in 2004 and then declined by a total of 17 percent through 2010, the most recent year for which full data are available. As of 2010, Connecticut achieved more than half the reductions required by 2020 under the Global Warming Solutions Act, having reduced its emissions to 5.4-percent below 1990 levels.

The report shows that the biggest reduction was achieved in the electric power sector, where emissions fell 31 percent since 1990 and 22 percent since 2005. The reductions in the power sector put Connecticut on track towards compliance with the carbon pollution standards for existing power plants released yesterday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In addition, residential emissions fell five percent since 1990 and 24 percent since 2004, while transportation emissions have dropped 17-percent since 2004.

“Statewide emissions of climate pollutants are clearly responding to the aggressive policies and programs Connecticut has put in place,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said in a statement. “Our progress is the direct result of an array of initiatives including capping carbon emissions from the power sector through our participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; expanding popular and cost-effective energy savings programs to help residents and businesses reduce their energy bills; generating more electricity from cleaner, cheaper natural gas rather than coal or oil; and increasing by ten-fold the amount of electricity we generate in-state from renewable sources.”

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