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Ranking Predicts Connecticut Faces Less Danger from Climate Change than 37 States

A Climate Change Risk Index created by SafeHome.org predicts that Connecticut will fare better under climate change than most states. Connecticut received a 128 score, tying with Montana and North Dakota for 9th least affected by climate change among 48 contiguous states analyzed.  

However, other New England states — like Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island — are at an even lower risk than Connecticut. Only Maine had a higher Risk Index than Connecticut among New England states, at 173. 

States with the highest Index scores experienced all five categories of climate change. According to the Index, Connecticut is expected to experience three of the five categories of climate change: extreme heat, inland flooding and coastal flooding, and unlikely to suffer from drought or wildfires (which were the other categories). By 2050, SafeHome.org predicts 1.5% of Connecticut residents will be vulnerable to coastal flooding; 1.8% residents will be vulnerable to extreme heat; and 3.6% residents will be vulnerable to inland flooding.  

To environmentalists, the latest ranking is in direct contrast to their apocalyptic view. Perhaps Connecticut’s situation is not as perilous to the entire population.  

Yet, if this past legislative session is any indication, Connecticut lawmakers are gearing toward pushing a restrictive climate change agenda, even so far as proposing a new “green” amendment to the state constitution enshrining ever resident’s “individual right to clean and healthy air, water, soil and environment; a stable climate; and self-sustaining ecosystems. Lawmakers even took their cue from national leaders in the gas stove hullabaloo by introducing a bill that would “establish emission standards for gas-powered home appliances,” which would include gas stoves. 

Even if every piece of climate change legislation passed, it remains doubtful that any climate action on the part of the Connecticut Legislature or the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection could substantively change Connecticut’s Risk Index. The most recent figures from DEEP suggest Connecticut produces around 0.04 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. And according to the International Energy Agency, the global emissions output is about 36.8 billion tonnes of CO2 each year. Therefore, Connecticut is responsible for about 0.11% of global emissions on an annual basis.  

While Connecticut could conceivably make progress toward getting to the state legislature’s goal of “80% below 2001 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2050,” reaching this lofty goal would do little to change Connecticut’s climate. And it would likely require redistributing billions of dollars from taxpayers into government coffers per year, with little accountability or oversight. 

Connecticut should let the federal government tackle emissions reductions. While still costly, following federal guidance on environmental objectives tends to be less expensive than the alternative: California’s stringent standards Connecticut is at its best when it is adjudicating disputes over environmental concerns between citizens while providing clear and concise regulations that incentivize Connecticut residents to embrace sound stewardship of natural resources for generations to come.  

The full rankings can be viewed here: https://www.safehome.org/climate-change-statistics/ 

David Flemming

David joined Yankee in April 2023 after working for five years as an energy policy analyst at the Ethan Allen Institute in Vermont, becoming a vehement opponent of carbon taxes in all guises. He has a B.A. in Economics from Hillsdale College, is an alum of the Young Voices and Stand Together public policy programs, and served as Executive Assistant for the Booker T. Washington Society. He is an avid Yankees and Celtics fan, board game enthusiast, Toastmaster, science fiction aficionado, live music junkie, casual tennis/ping-pong/dodgeball player and occasional participant in very amateur theater/improv.

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