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CT leaders respond to climate crisis report released by U.N. panel

The report reveals five years of data on global temperature rises, fossil fuel emissions and the impact of climate crisis.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — A United Nations climate panel issued a startling warning and said the clock is ticking in preventing global warming. 

A recent report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed the dramatic effects of oil, coal and gas had on the planet. 

Officials on the panel urged countries to take action now since the window of opportunity for a sustainable future is quickly closing. 

"Humanity is on thin ice and that ice is melting fast," said United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Guterres put out an urgent message and emphasized action must be taken within the next several years. 

Connecticut leaders responded especially with it being Climate Action Week.

"We have so many technologies, we have the policy, we have the programs that are available to solve this climate crisis, the question is … do we have the will to do it?" said Katie Dykes, commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 

The climate crisis, as Dykes said showed its symptoms. 

"Where it’s the sea level creeping up, whether it’s heat waves that we’re experiencing, whether it’s inland flooding from intense rainstorm events, or droughts," added Dykes. 

Researchers said governments must cut roughly two-thirds of carbon pollution in the next 12 years while encouraging a halt to fossil fuel projects and end the use of oil, coal and gas by 2040. 

For more than two decades, Commissioner Dykes said Connecticut has led the way in reducing emissions through the state's power plants and electric grid and also proposed multiple bills aimed at addressing the crisis. 

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"We’re working hard on the transportation sector. Right now, our power grid is getting cleaner and we’re making progress there with solar, hopefully with hydro with nuclear wind, I think we’ll be carbon free," said Gov. Lamont. 

In order for there to be results, action must be taken by local jurisdictions. 

"CT has traditionally been a leader with our partner states in the northeast and New England," said Save the Sound Climate and Energy Attorney Charles Rothenberger. 

There is a hearing Friday at the LOB where the CGA Environment Committee will also bring up a new bill aimed at lowering gas emissions. 

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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