BOSTON – Seventy members of the Massachusetts Legislature have signed onto a statement pledging their support for the enactment and implementation of bold climate legislation before the end of the current session. This includes Framingham Representatives Jack
Patrick Lewis, Maria Robinson, and Carmine Gentile.
The Climate Action Now! statement has amassed a bipartisan coalition of key Senate and House leaders in recognition of the urgent need to accelerate the Commonwealth’s emissions reduction progress.
“I am pleased to announce 70 members of the Senate and House have joined together to support Climate Action Now!” said Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming & Climate Change. “Failing to act on bold climate legislation would be especially tragic this session. Now, more than ever, the Commonwealth urgently needs to support its residents’ respiratory health with less-polluted air and support growing industries like the clean energy sector to spark job creation and economic recovery.”
“It is one minute before midnight on the climate change clock – for our children’s lives, our grandchildren’s lives and well-being we need to act now with bold legislation to transition to clean energy, wind down and stop the use of fossil fuels for transportation, heating, and cooling needs,” said Rep. Gentile. “The pandemic and recession won’t stop on August 1st and neither should the Massachusetts legislature. We need to get the job done”
At an oversight hearing hosted by the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change earlier this month, policymakers had the opportunity to hear firsthand about the need for stronger clean energy policies. The overwhelming consensus from industry leaders at the virtual event indicated that, with other states in the region now vying for clean energy jobs, the Commonwealth’s ability to maintain a thriving renewable economy hinges on the passage of bold climate legislation this session.
“We cannot wait another day or delay climate action another moment,” said Rep. Robinson. “COVID-19 has shown us that massive environmental change is both possible and absolutely necessary. We must prioritize this work as we near the end of session.”
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“As the House prepares to take up climate change legislation tomorrow,” added Rep. Lewis, “we need bold, decisive action to accelerate our transition to 100% renewable energy, investments in public transportation, and expansion of green energy jobs.”
The link between air quality and high COVID rates was the primary focus of a report released in May by the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey titled COVID-19’s Unequal Effects in Massachusetts: Remedying the Legacy of Environmental Injustice & Building Climate
Resilience. Just last week, the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University released a research article Evaluating the Impact of Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter on Mortality Among the Elderly further reinforcing the causal connection between mortality and long-term exposure to air pollution.
“The sustainability revolution is at our doorstep. Independence from fossil fuel addiction is within our grasp. All we need is to demonstrate the political will to act,” according to the Climate Action Now! statement circulated by Senator Pacheco. “We the undersigned members of the Massachusetts Legislature hereby pledge our commitment to the enactment and implementation of bold climate action before the end of session. There is no time to waste, the time for climate action is now.”
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Photo courtesy of NIH