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Gov. Lamont signs new climate change law

The legislation offers communities the chance to apply for $30 million in state grants to get their climate change initiatives off the ground.

GUILFORD, Conn. — Gov. Ned Lamont was in Guilford Tuesday to sign climate change legislation that increases the ability of Connecticut’s communities to transition from planning climate change adaptation and resilience projects to actually implementing them.

Guilford's Jacob's Beach was the spot for the bill signing which was witnessed by multiple lawmakers and environmentalists.

The legislation offers communities the chance to apply for $30 million in state grants to get their climate change initiatives off the ground. Every dollar of state bonding used will trigger three to four dollars of federal money.

"Making sure that we are able to raise the roads, making sure that we have the flood runoff that we need, and make sure that we have the stormwater runoff going forward," Lamont said.

According to the commissioner of the Connecticut Insurance Department, Andrew Mais, two-thirds of Connecticut's total property value is in coastal property, which is second only to Florida. Mais says that should tell everyone how important reining in climate change is to our state.

"I really believe that this year people are going to remember this as one of the most important bills you all passed this year," Lamont told the legislators after the ceremonial bill signing. 

Among those applauding the bill, signing is the Connecticut Green Bank, which is the first of its kind nationwide. It has helped accelerate green energy adoption by making green energy financing accessible and affordable for homeowners, businesses, and institutions. 

"We’ve helped avoid nearly 9 million metric tons of CO2 emission," said Bryan Garcia, President, and CEO of CGB. "So, all of that investment in green economy pays off when it comes to addressing climate."

The $30 million in state bonding allows municipalities to create stormwater authorities as part of this legislation is immense to nonprofits including Save the Sound. 

"We need to rebuild the power of our marshes, the power of our dunes, the power of nature working with engineers to protect the entire seaside neighborhood here," said Curt Johnson, President of Save the Sound

The state's environmental commissioner said climate change is not just be felt in coastal areas with sea-level rise.

"But also more frequent intense storms, more frequent hot days, drought, impact to forests, it’s impacting all of our infrastructures," said Katie Dykes, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

"We know that climate change is coming, it’s accelerating, its impacts are here," Dykes added. 

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