Boston – With Governor Charlie Baker’s second term underway, Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center released a new report, Climate Solutions from Day One: 12 Ways Governors Can Lead on Climate Now, describing actions governors can take to reduce global warming pollution and ensure a more stable climate.
"To avoid a future of more extreme weather, wildfires and rising sea levels, we need to do all we can to cut global warming pollution today," said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center. "Governor Baker sits in a pivotal spot. With the stroke of a pen, he can increase renewable energy use, reduce transportation emissions and curb energy waste. These policies have proven effective and can bring immediate benefits to our health and environment."
The report outlines several steps governors can take through executive action, including reducing fossil fuel use by state agencies; setting goals around renewable energy deployment, electric vehicle adoption, and waste reduction; and creating or joining bipartisan, regional partnerships with neighboring states.
In November, the Trump administration released the 2018 update to the National Climate Assessment, summarizing the latest science on the expected impacts of climate change. The report predicts that Massachusetts and other Northeastern states will experience up to 11 feet of sea level rise and 2,300 additional deaths each year from extreme heat by the end of this century, unless we move quickly to reduce the pollution that causes global warming.
"In dozens of states, governors of every political stripe have taken strong action to put their states on the path to a lower-emission future," said Gideon Weissman of Frontier Group, report co-author. “When you're facing a dire threat, you need to use every tool in the toolbox. It's just common sense to cut energy waste in state buildings and boost renewable energy, and governors can make a difference right away.”
“To address climate change in Massachusetts, we have to clean up our transportation system, said Matt Casale, Staff Attorney with MASSPIRG. "Recently, Governor Baker agreed to join a regional collaboration to reduce transportation emissions, and the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation proposed a forward-thinking agenda that includes investing in public transit and electrifying our transportation system. There is reason to be optimistic, but it is important that Governor Baker follows through with urgency.”
“The time for action on climate is now. Americans understand that climate change is an existential threat to the health and well-being of our friends, family and neighbors,” added Hellerstein. “Governor Baker has the power to lead the way toward a safe, healthy future for all of us.”
Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center works to protect clean water, clean air, and open spaces. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public and decision-makers, and help the public make their voices heard in local, state and national debates over the quality of our environment and our lives.