Updates from the Movement for the CT Environmental Rights Amendment

Kim Stoner, CT Environmental Rights Amendment Alliance

Big news! The lawsuit in Montana, where a group of young people established their right to a stable climate, based on the environmental rights in the Montana state constitution, drew attention to the power of constitutional environmental rights across the country and here in CT.

Most important action you can take now: Sign our petition to key state legislators to move the CT Environmental Rights Amendment forward in the coming session: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/we-want-our-right-to-a-healthy-environment-in-the-ct-constitution.

We already have more than 300 signatures!

Wed., Nov. 1, 4 p.m. Want to get more deeply involved? We are offering a training webinar, “Get Up to Speed to Lead, Part 1.” Register at ct-era.org/events/ct-environmental-rights-amendment-virtual-training.

Kim Stoner had an opportunity to talk over the Held v. Montana case with Paul Bass of the New Haven Independent and WNHH radio. You can find the interview here: https://ctnofa.org/dr-kimberly-stoner-interviewed-on-wnhh-fms-dateline-new-haven.

The national movement had a great webinar with legal experts on constitutional rights and environmental justice. Ready for a deep dive? See the recording on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NASBpfok0AM.

Thanks to Eluned Li, we now have our own state website. Check it out: https://www.ct-era.org/.

Exciting Updates for the CT Environmental Rights Amendment

by Kimberly Stoner, CT Climate Crisis Mobilization

Under the Connecticut and U.S. constitutions, you do not have a legal right to a safe and healthy environment. Our legal system protects some rights, but not the right to clean air, water, and soil; a stable climate; and healthy environments. Because environmental rights are not recognized, government decision-makers can disregard them in favor of other political or economic priorities.

All communities suffer when there is pollution, environmental degradation, and an unstable climate. Communities of color, indigenous communities, and low-income communities carry a disproportionate burden.

Representative Mary Mushinsky introduced the CT Environmental Rights Amendment in the state legislature this year. The CT Environmental Rights Amendment will require government officials to put environmental protection FIRST at the start of planning, decision-making, legislating, regulating industry, and the transition to renewable energy. The CT Environmental Rights Amendment will require them to avoid/prevent environmental harm, not simply manage it after the fact.

Green Amendments in Pennsylvania and Montana similar to the CT Environmental Rights Amendment have been used to overturn state laws expanding fracking and to stop a destructive gold mine at the headwaters of a major river. A new Environmental Rights Amendment in New York passed in a referendum with 70% of the vote!

The bill is now on the CT General Assembly website. The bill number is PHJ 13. Now it is easier to contact state legislators and ask them to co-sponsor and actively support PHJ 13. You can view the bill at www.cga.ct.gov/2023/TOB/H/PDF/2023HJ-00013-R00-HB.PDF.

The Connecticut Climate Crisis Mobilization (C3M), the Green Party of CT, and CT NOFA (The Northeast Organic Farming Association of CT) lead the effort to pass the CT Environmental Rights Amendment. We are contacting other organizations to sign on — it will take a deep and broad coalition to get this passed. Our CT Environmental Rights Amendment Organizing Group meets every Friday from 5-6 p.m. during the legislative session by Zoom.

For more information and join us, contact Kim Stoner at 203-584-5936 or [email protected].