Connecticut's New Climate Solution
By: Arlo Tucker
In the past, the core issue surrounding climate change has been a lack of action. Towns and individuals have found themselves with the will for change, without a concrete method of achieving it. Climate change is an issue that needs to be faced with urgency, and much of the legislation on the table does not have a clear timeline or plan associated with it. Essentially they are giving permission for the town to make progress in the future, but not declaring any goals for the interim. Many towns and cities across the state of Connecticut have been looking for an alternative and many have started adopting their own version of a climate emergency resolution. These documents declare climate change an emergency while catalyzing legislative action and planning for a sustainable future. 29 of our neighboring Connecticut towns have written and passed Climate Emergency Resolutions (CER).
While the resolutions are fit to the town or city they are serving, there are many commonalities between all of them. Most importantly, these pieces of legislation declare climate change an emergency. This allows it to be prioritized as an issue and ensures that the town will take concrete and timely action steps to combat their effect on the climate. On top of that, many of the resolutions stem from the citizens of the town and a combined community effort to make a change. This homegrown aspect allows the town to focus on what is important to their citizens and what will make the largest impact in the shortest amount of time.
29 Connecticut towns have passed resolutions like these. Notably, Hartford, New Britain, Middletown and the 22 towns and cities in the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments. Many more are currently being worked on, for example, Greenwich.
Our own town of West Hartford has recently adopted a similar legislation to these resolutions. Earlier this year, a group of student climate activists were able to pass a Resolution Concerning the Climate Crisis though town council. While this resolution had been altered by the town before its final version was presented, many of the intentions stayed the same and the resolution has been working to enable climate action ever since. This is a fantastic example of the progress West Hartford is making in combating its effects on the environment.
Climate change is not a problem that will be solved quickly or alone. Our world needs a solution with collective action, where we all work together to hold ourselves accountable. These climate emergency resolutions are a step in coming together as a community to make the changes necessary for a brighter future.