We can still avoid the worst impacts of climate change if we reach net-zero carbon pollution before 2050. We need strong climate laws in every New England state to hit that mark.
“Almost two years later, Merrimack Valley residents and businesses are still recovering from the gas explosions. It is only appropriate that Columbia Gas cease operations in the state,” said Amy Laura Cahn, Director of CLF’s Healthy Communities and Environmental Justice program. “With over a billion dollars changing hands in the sale of Columbia Gas to Eversource, a significant portion of those resources should go to providing energy savings to residents and making the communities who suffered most safer and more resilient.”
“The FMCB took on a monumental challenge and helped stabilize the T during a time of crisis,” said Staci Rubin, Senior Attorney at CLF. “Now was simply not the time to let the T board dissolve, and the legislature clearly recognized that fact. A one-year extension is a good interim step, and we look forward to working with the legislature to implement a permanent T successor board that includes riders and is empowered to create a world-class transportation system for the region.”
Decades of environmental injustices won’t be addressed without strong legislation to drive change. Local organizations are working to reduce burdens on environmental justice communities, but it’s up to the Massachusetts legislature to redress decades of wrongs and put our state on a path to a more equitable future.
Low-income, immigrant, and communities of color experience more environmental burdens than whiter, wealthier neighborhoods. Having strong environmental justice legislation would make a significant difference in these neighborhoods, in part by simply ensuring residents have a voice in what happens in their own communities.
Environmental justice requires reversing and repairing the impacts of decades of environmental racism. Residents of environmental justice communities are the most likely to bear the burdens polluting industries and infrastructure, while having to fight for their share of resources we all need — healthy homes, schools, transit, food, and open space.
After a victory in the first phase of our lawsuit to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales, now we’re asking the court for protective measures in the second phase.
For decades, low income, immigrant, and communities of color across the Commonwealth have disproportionately born the burdens of air pollution from power plants, congested freeways, and industrial activity. After generations of disenfranchisement, what would having strong environmental justice protections mean for these communities?
Our recovery from the coronavirus must be more than just a return to the status quo. Along with helping us rebuild our local economies and communities, recovery must also lead to a more resilient, healthier state for all Vermonters.
“Cutting climate pollution and investing in sustainable and climate-resilient communities has significant public health and economic benefits for Vermonters,” said Jen Duggan, Vice President and Director of CLF Vermont. “The Solutions Act requires climate solutions that reduce energy burdens for rural and marginalized communities, build healthy communities, and protect our natural and working lands. Today’s vote is an important step forward towards ensuring an equitable transition to a carbon-free and resilient Vermont.”