Climate Change Policy & Advocacy
Mass Audubon is undertaking a multi-pronged policy approach to address climate change. We assist with drafting legislation, advising state and national panels on energy projects, supporting regulatory reform, and encouraging communities to take action at the local level.
Adaptation Management Plan
This proposed legislation would help prepare Massachusetts for the impacts of climate change by identifying where we are most vulnerable and taking measures to protect public health, public safety, and the economy.
Among the most visible and dramatic effects of climate change in Massachusetts is sea level rise and ocean acidification. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, ocean waters are expected to rise between 10 inches and 2 feet by the end of the century. Mass Audubon is doing our part to help protect oceans and to explore ways that the oceans can provide green energy to replace fossil fuels.
Global Warming Solutions Act
Massachusetts became a leader in the fight against climate change when the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) was signed into law. Mass Audubon supported its passage, which requires a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 10-15 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. As we advocate for energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions through implementation of the GWSA, we are promoting policies that help us to prepare and ‘adapt’ to the future.
Alternative Energy Incentives, Development, and Siting
Energy conservation and the development of renewable resources are an important part of the climate change solution. Mass Audubon is working toward providing incentives and siting recommendations for wind and solar and for the role of biomass within the overall energy mix.
Addressing Climate Change at a Local Level
Mass Audubon’s Shaping the Future of Your Community Outreach and Assistance Program works on a local level to reduce the effects of climate change and promote green, sustainable living.
Climate Change Emissions Reduction & Adaptation
Massachusetts, along with other states and nations, has a two-part approach to combating the effects of human-induced rapid climate change: emissions reduction and adaptation.
Green Communities Act
Massachusetts helps cities and towns that adopt the Green Communities Act maximize energy efficiency in public buildings, generate clean energy from renewable sources, and manage rising energy costs with grants and other assistance. Development of renewable resources is a key part of the climate change solutions. Careful site selection for renewable facilities of all types is important. We are also promoting Green Communities at our wildlife sanctuaries and through our Shaping the Future of Your Community outreach program.
Climate Education in Schools
Currently, climate change science is not a required element of our public school curricula. We believe that addressing climate change in a lasting way requires a ‘culture of climate literacy’ and we are working with stakeholders, our government officials, and partners to make sure that we connect our school children to the facts and opportunities that climate change brings.
Mass Audubon promotes conservation of our forest resources, including old growth reserves, for wildlife habitat and public benefit and for the capture of carbon from the atmosphere in forest growth and soils. We also helped achieve key changes in laws and regulations on biomass energy to ensure forests are managed sustainably in their roles in providing renewable energy and sequestering carbon.