Saturday, July 20, 2024

CT NOFA at Climate March

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CT Environmental Rights Amendment Featured at Climate March in Hartford

By Kim Stoner, Director of Advocacy
CT NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut)

On February 2nd, about 200 people from over 20 organizations marched in Hartford to demand immediate action on climate change by the state legislature, the Lamont administration, and utility and insurance companies in the state.

The theme of the march was “Keep CT’s Climate Promise.” There’s a lot to do. In the Global Warming Solutions Act, Connecticut promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to  80% below levels in 2001. We would have to make some dramatic reductions in the next 26 years to meet that goal — and given the rate of climate change, that goal may not be enough. Indeed, one of the demands of the march was to set a more difficult target of reaching net zero greenhouse gases by 2050.

The CT Environmental Rights Amendment was one of the key demands. This amendment to the state constitution would include a safe and stable climate among the human rights of the people of Connecticut, along with clean and healthy air, water, soil, ecosystems, and environment, and would safeguard those rights for present and future generations.

A great opportunity to learn more about the CT Environmental Rights Amendment, and to hear about how similar provisions in state constitutions in other states have asserted the human right to a livable environment, is coming up! Maya van Rossum, the national leader of the movement to put environmental rights into state constitutions will be the keynote speaker at the winter conference of CT NOFA coming up in March.

There were a broad range of other demands to the CT General Assembly in addition the to the CT Environmental Rights Amendment:

  • Setting a target of net zero greenhouse gases by 2050, along with subtargets for electricity generation, transportation, and other uses,
  • Increasing funding for energy efficiency,
  • Rapidly increasing solar energy, battery storage, and clean heat through heat pumps, and
  • Rapidly reducing greenhouse gases from transportation by adopting advanced standards for clean cars and trucks.

When we arrived at the Capitol, state legislators, including Representative Joe Gresko from Stratford, pledged to include many of these demands in a bill they are developing, to be numbered House Bill 5004. It has not yet been introduced, but when it is, all of our organizations will be watching closely to see if the state legislators are ready to meet the urgency of the moment.

The mission of CT NOFA is to ensure the growth and viability of organic agriculture, organic food, and organic land care in CT. CT NOFA envisions a healthy, organic CT founded on ecologically, socially and economically just principles.

CT NOFA is a growing community of farmers, gardeners, land care professionals, and consumers that encourages a healthy relationship to the natural world.

CT NOFA:

  • Promotes methods of farming, gardening, and land care that respect biodiversity, soil, water, air, and the needs of future generations through education, support, and advocacy.
  • Encourages the growth of a sustainable, regional food system that is ecologically sound, economically viable and socially just.
  • Educates consumers about their power to effect positive changes through their food and land care choices.
  • Increases the local and organic food supply and maintains productive agricultural land by creating opportunities for new and veteran farmers.

CT NOFA is working toward:

  • The growth of organic food production in Connecticut, resulting in local, sustainable agricultural systems.
  • A clean, safe, healthy environment to pass on to future generations.
  • Preservation of existing farmland in the state.
  • An abundant supply of organically grown food for Connecticut citizens.

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