UPDATE: The Rhode Island legislature passed the Act On Climate 2021 bill, which will put the state on track to lowering its climate-damaging emissions and help Rhode Islanders benefit from the transition to a clean energy economy. After a final review, the bill will go to Governor McKee to sign into law.
After years of advocacy from CLF and our partners, Massachusetts has passed a critical climate and environmental justice bill that updates our existing climate law and adds protections for historically marginalized communities.
“This legislation is a momentous step forward in confronting the climate crisis and protecting environmental justice communities,” said Caitlin Peale Sloan, Interim Director of CLF Massachusetts. “Only with the concrete plan and critical justice language in this legislation can the Commonwealth grow its economy, fight climate change, and begin to address stark environmental and public health inequities. The long-term health and safety of everyone in Massachusetts depend on Governor Baker signing this bill into law.”
“Massachusetts needs to commit to significant changes if we’re going to reach the 2050 emissions limits required by law,” said Caitlin Peale Sloan, Interim Director of CLF Massachusetts. “The people who will be affected most by the climate crisis, including Black and Brown communities and low-income households, must be part of the process, and it’s a great step forward that officials plan to do just that. We will be holding our leaders accountable for sticking to the goals laid out in this plan because it’s time to get to work.”
“TCI has the potential to fill a glaring gap in transportation funding and to reduce emissions, but it has been fraught by a process that too often ignored community concerns,” said CLF President Bradley Campbell. “While today’s agreement includes important equity commitments, it is the next steps that matter most. CLF can only support this program if these commitments become enforceable policies and truly additive investments in climate and the communities suffering most from air pollution and lack of transportation options.”
New England is extremely vulnerable to climate change. It’s a crisis not only for the environment, but also for the health of our communities. It will take systemic change in the way we do business, the way we govern, and the way we guide people to solve climate change and move into the next century.
“Climate change is an urgent public health crisis and procrastination and denial are not solutions,” said Jen Duggan, Vice President and Director of Conservation Law Foundation Vermont. “Our legislators clearly understand the reality and provided the leadership necessary to fight this crisis with everything we’ve got. It’s time to get to work so that no one is left behind.”
“Electric cars, trucks, and buses are the future,” said CLF Senior Attorney Emily Green. “Cutting transportation emissions to zero is a critical piece of confronting the climate crisis and protecting public health from toxic exhaust. This is yet another example of states leading the way while the federal government turns back the clock on environmental progress.