While our Connecticut constitution recognizes many necessary inalienable and political rights – such as free speech, freedom of religion, and due process – it does not recognize and protect our inalienable rights to pure water, clean air, a safe and stable climate, and healthy environments. Passage of a Connecticut Environmental Rights Amendment would put our environmental rights legally on par with our other fundamental human rights.
With a Connecticut Environmental Rights Amendment, we will empower our legislators to pass laws that ensure and strengthen environmental protection; we will have a check on government actions that allow our water, air, climate, and critical natural resources to be degraded in dangerous and devastating ways; and in those instances when there is no legal protection in place, we will have a constitutional right that will allow us to secure needed government action and protection. Across the U.S., people are organizing to establish these rights in state constitutions through the national campaign for Green Amendments.
Given that we all depend upon pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments to support and sustain our healthy lives and our healthy economy, it is right and appropriate that these rights should be protected with the same legal strength that we protect our rights to free speech, freedom of religion, our due process rights and our property rights.
The Connecticut Environmental Rights Amendment would recognize:
• the inalienable rights of all the people of Connecticut, including future generations, to pure water, clean air, a stable climate, and healthy environments;
• that Connecticut’s public natural resources belong to all the people, and that all government officials in the state of Connecticut have a duty to conserve and maintain these resources for the benefit of all the people, including future generations; and
• that these rights must be given the same legal recognition and protection as all the other human, civil, and political rights we hold dear.