BOSTON—State Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), founding Chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, is pleased to announce the release of “No Time to Waste: Our climate clock is ticking and our natural resources, public health and the future of our economy are at stake.”
The committee report highlights some of the impending threats of climate change and includes recommendations for the executive branch to move forward with actions that will protect Massachusetts against the worst effects of climate change and help strengthen the state’s clean energy economy.
“I applaud the Patrick Administration for the strong support they have provided energy and environmental causes in the Commonwealth and for taking unprecedented action on climate change by signing legislation such as the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Green Communities Act into law,” said Senator Pacheco, who also serves as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “As we transition to a new administration, this report should refocus our efforts to push for more progress that will better protect our natural resources, our public health, and our economy from the worst effects of climate change.”
“If we reach beyond the low hanging fruit we have grasped so far, and if we adopt the committee’s recommendations, I believe we can reach our Global Warming Solutions Act targets,” Pacheco added. “I look forward to working with the next administration to further our goals as Massachusetts citizens and as citizens of the world.”
“Under the Patrick Administration, Massachusetts became a leader in clean energy policy because of legislation such as the Green Communities Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said State Senator James B. Eldridge (D-Acton), Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. “These policies created thousands of new jobs, reduced energy costs and struck a blow for combating climate change. I hope that Governor-elect Baker takes the recommendations found in this report to heart and continues to build on Governor Patrick’s strong legacy when it comes to climate change.”
“No Time to Waste” reviews many of the major gains Massachusetts has made to protect its environment, infrastructure and economy from the worst effects of climate change, such as the nearly 6,000 clean energy firms and more than 88,000 clean energy employees that currently comprise the Commonwealth’s $10 billion clean energy sector.
The report also aims to shed light on some of the lesser discussed risks of climate change that threaten to harm other sectors of the state, such as the devastating impacts increasing temperatures and air pollution may have on public health as well as Massachusetts’ agricultural industry, especially the cranberry industry.
The Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change released the report, by majority vote, to recommend additional actions the executive branch can take to combat the worst effects of climate change.
Their recommendations urge the executive branch to utilize authority it already maintains as the result of laws passed by the state legislature, such as the phasing in of a definitive, broad-based, revenue-neutral carbon pricing mechanism, authorized as part of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008. It also calls for the adoption of comprehensive adaptation management plan legislation in the Commonwealth to help cities and towns prepare for climate change, among other recommendations.
The committee recommends the executive branch:
- Adopt a clean fuel standard
- Enforce Global Warming Solutions Act regulations and implement carbon pricing
- Encourage more energy efficiency
- Incentivize smart meter use
- Embrace smart growth and target lifecycle costs
- Boost the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program
- Balance imported energy with renewables
- Promote clean energy and energy efficient transportation
- Strengthen the Stretch Code
- Adopt comprehensive adaptation management plan legislation and invest in resiliency statewide
- Modernize the grid
"Tackling climate change creates Massachusetts jobs and protects our environment. In the last four years, our climate change policies have helped create over 88,000 jobs. Moving forward is crucial for our economy," said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield). Downing is Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy and is a member of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change.