2016 is a pivotal year for CLF.
This is the year that CLF turns 50. Since 1966, we have turned impossible odds into incredible milestones, protecting the things we all love about New England – our beautiful coasts and ocean, our mountains, our farms and forests – to ensure that our communities, our friends, and neighbors can thrive.
But, celebrating our first 50 years is not about looking backward. It’s about laying a strong foundation for our fight for New England’s future and the healthy, thriving world we want our children and grandchildren to inherit 50 years from now.
The Defining Challenge of Our Age
Today the stakes are higher than ever before in our history. The battles are more complicated and the fossil fuel lobby is well-funded to maintain its stranglehold on public policy and sabotage our clean energy future. Corporate polluters have funded a deceit and denial campaign about climate change that has put people and communities in New England and around the world at great risk.
But thanks to your work with CLF, decades of climate denial are being drowned out by unprecedented public demand for action, as awareness that climate change is happening here, right now, and in our backyard increases.
Indeed, stopping further damage to our climate is the challenge of our lifetime. But CLF never shies away from the big fights. We never give up and we know how to win. The actions we are taking in 2016 will define CLF’s – and New England’s – next 50 years.
The Next 50 Years Starts Today
Last week we defended our climate before the highest court in Massachusetts. Alongside the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance and four courageous teenagers, we demanded that Massachusetts’ groundbreaking Global Warming Solutions Act – which mandates cuts to carbon pollution – be fully enforced. Our rallying cry for climate action at the Supreme Judicial Court will resonate and be heard throughout New England.
Our rallying cry for climate action will be heard in our push to protect our coastlines. Fifty years ago we stood up and demanded that Boston Harbor be cleaned up – and we won. Now we will take that fight to the next level by ensuring our coastal communities can stand strong in the face of a changing climate and rising sea levels. Our work will determine the future of coastline development throughout New England and across the country.
Our rallying cry for climate action will be heard as we shut down the last coal plant in New England. But we know getting rid of dirty coal isn’t enough. We are also fighting to make sure we don’t trade one dirty fuel for another – natural gas. In 2016 we will escalate our campaign to stop unnecessary and expensive Big Gas gambles, like the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which will be obsolete before they come online.
Our rallying cry for climate action will be heard as we revolutionize our energy infrastructure. We will ensure that new natural gas plants built in New England must reduce their climate-warming emissions over time and shut down by 2050. At the same time, we will drive the growth of affordable, home-grown energy sources, such as offshore wind and solar.
Our rallying cry for climate action will be heard in New England’s legislatures, as CLF comes to the table to help push laws and policies that move us towards a low-carbon emission society by 2020 and a zero-carbon society by 2050.
And our longstanding work on clean water, marine conservation, and healthy communities will become all the more urgent because of climate change. Our work to establish the Gulf of Maine’s Cashes Ledge and the New England canyons and seamounts as the nation’s first Atlantic Marine National Monument will help protect species threatened by ocean warming. Our work for better public transit will keep toxic soot out of our communities, vehicles off the road, and carbon out of the air. Our clean water enforcement work is needed more than ever as climate change causes record rain and snow fall in New England, overwhelming our dated infrastructure.
We’re Stronger Together
But we will only succeed with your voice amplifying our efforts. We cannot make the impossible possible without you. I look forward to our journey together in 2016 as we work to ensure that our next 50 years are as transformative for New England families and communities as our first. The time is now for your voice, your advocacy, and your action.