July 31, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) released the following statement today after Massachusetts lawmakers passed a package of legislation that includes climate and environmental justice protections. The House and Senate will now lay out a final version of this bill.
“The science is clear: we only have a few years to avert a climate disaster and protect the marginalized communities that are bearing the brunt of its devastating impacts,” said Caitlin Peale Sloan, Acting Massachusetts State Director at CLF. “It is now for the House and Senate to move together, with urgency, to pass this historic legislation. Only then can we hold the Commonwealth accountable for slashing climate-damaging emissions and giving residents a say in what happens in their own communities.”
CLF helped pass and defend the state’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, and the climate bill passed by the House today updates that law with enforceable targets in our ongoing push to slash emissions.
This legislation also includes protections for low-income and communities of color, and people with limited English proficiency — all of whom are persistently overburdened by environmental and climate risks. Notably, the environmental justice protections contained in the bill would ensure that residents have a voice in what happens in their communities, as well as requiring special review of any project set to be built in overburdened areas.
CLF experts are available for further comment.