A nonprofit clean energy advocacy organization estimates that Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions have reversed course and increased by 4.4 percent since 2012.
An Acadia Center analysis found an increase of 39.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide was present in 2012 and it increased to 41.3 million metric tons in 2014. It’s the first two-year increase in greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut since 2003.
Acadia Center’s analysis also found that the GHG emissions level in 2014 was more than the state’s mandatory 2020 GHG emissions cap, exceeding it by nearly 1.5 million metric tons, or 3.7 percent. Connecticut’s Global Warming Solutions Act, passed in 2008, set a binding target of reducing GHG emissions to at least 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
The new emissions data indicates that Connecticut is not on track to satisfy this legal requirement, according to the Acadia Center’s analysis. According to the center preliminary data for 2015 suggests that emissions for this past year will be even higher than the level for 2014.
“This new, sustained upward trend in Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions is a cause for concern,” Daniel L. Sosland, Acadia Center president, said. “We need stronger and faster reductions in GHG emissions through policies that we know are effective, such as eliminating costly energy waste, reforming our energy rules so that investments in exciting, community oriented clean energy technologies can flourish, and increasing our clean energy supply.”
Sosland pointed out that the state can’t backslide any further or it will be out of compliance with its 2020 emissions limit.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it is still analyzing the data used by Acadia to determine the accuracy of the claim concerning the 2012 greenhouse gas emissions.
“Whatever the temporary trend may be, Connecticut has ambitious programs in place to reduce GHGs and we are actively working to achieve both the state’s interim 2020 goal and the long-term goal of an 80 percent reduction from 2001 levels by 2050,” Dennis Schain, a spokesman for the DEEP, said.
He said based on information through 2012, Connecticut has met the 2020 emissions reduction target of 10 percent below 1990 levels.
At this moment the state does not believe there will be an increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 and 2014, as Acadia is claiming, but it is still analyzing the data.