Mass Audubon Applauds Governor, Legislature For Climate Bill Passage
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—With Governor Baker’s signature today of the bill for climate and offshore wind developed over months of negotiation between Senate and House leaders, Massachusetts continues its track record as a global leader in regulating climate pollution. In their legislation, the legislature set forth an exciting set of policies designed to enable the ambitious reductions in greenhouse (GHG) emissions required by the Next-Generation Climate Roadmap.
Mass Audubon President David O’Neill said, “This new law will propel the Commonwealth’s efforts to meet its climate goals by scaling up offshore wind, stepping on the accelerator for more clean cars and clean energy buildings and making sure we create equitable access to the green jobs of the future.” O’Neill added, “Mass Audubon and our 160,000 members applaud Governor Baker and the Legislature for their bold leadership in addressing the climate crisis.”
This new bill includes comprehensive plans to clean up the power grid by setting clear incentives for major investments in offshore wind. It also sets up the Commonwealth to make significant strides towards decarbonizing cars and buildings, by requiring new car sales in Massachusetts to be electric by 2035, greening the MBTA fleet, and piloting new fossil-free building construction in 10 cities and towns.
Critically, the bill supports the development of an offshore wind industry and workforce in a way that will cement Massachusetts’ status as a leader in a 21st century clean energy economy, and makes certain that we provide equitable access and training for quality jobs in offshore wind and the clean energy economy. Mass Audubon will also be working to ensure that offshore wind developers not only account for impacts of wind installations on wildlife and habitat, but also directly fund measures to eliminate or reduce these impacts.
As the first climate bill since the passage of the Next Generation Climate Roadmap in 2021, this new law delivers on what is just the beginning of the pathway pointed toward net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Mass Audubon looks forward to working with the Legislature on approaches next session that address the opportunities of nature as a climate solution, by creating strong incentives for protection of our natural and working lands.
Michelle Manion, the statewide conservation organization’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy noted, “With this bill passing just before the U.S. Congress is about to pass a federal climate bill after decades of inaction, we have historic support for nature as one of our most cost-effective climate solutions. But, we need the right policies in place to deliver on this promise.”
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 140,000 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.