Governor Vetoes Climate Bill; Mass Audubon Urges Action
Michael P. O'Connor
We are disappointed to see An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy fail to become law given the significant climate benefits of this necessary legislation. Despite its successful passage by the Massachusetts legislature at the end of the session, Governor Charlie Baker chose to veto it.
This innovative bill included groundbreaking natural climate solutions, which harness the power of nature including our forests, wetlands, and healthy soils, to store carbon. This not only addresses our climate crisis, but also helps us clean our water and air, and provide critical habitat for declining populations of birds and other wildlife. The legislation also would have established targets to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and ensure the prioritization of Environmental Justice communities that have historically suffered from environmental degradation and public health impacts.
We applaud the legislature for their work, particularly members of the conference committee who reconciled the House and Senate versions of the bill.
"While we have been pleased with the leadership Governor Baker has demonstrated on climate change, we are disappointed that he chose to pocket veto this critically important legislation. We know that we need bold action steps in place to reach our carbon reduction goals,” states David J. O’Neill, President of Mass Audubon. “We will continue to support and press for ambitious policies this legislative session to address our climate crisis.”
Mass Audubon, with its 135,000 members and 104 sanctuaries statewide, will continue to advocate for and support the ambitious climate legislation in 2021. This includes working with the Legislature and the Administration on future plans that accelerate the pace of climate action and support climate-vulnerable communities that disproportionately suffer from associated public health effects. The next-generation roadmap legislation is also expected to be refiled and will remain a top policy priority as we enter the 2021 legislative session.
We are dedicated to urgent and bold climate action and remain committed to driving equitable and effective nature-based climate solutions across the Commonwealth.
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 160,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.