BOSTON– Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) joined Senate colleagues in passing legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing a long-term, comprehensive adaptation management action plan to address the consequences of climate change in the Commonwealth.
The bill establishes an emissions limit between 35 and 45 percent below the 1990 emissions level for 2030, and a limit between 55 and 65 percent for 2040. These interim requirements would be accompanied by plans to achieve these limits, maximizing the ability of the Commonwealth to meet the 2050 statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits already in place through the Global Warming Solutions Act.
“We have again taken action to help ensure the Commonwealth does its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Sen. Moore. “The Senate passed a similar, comprehensive climate change adaptation management plan last July, however, the bill did not clear the House. It is my hope that this important initiative will make its way to the Governor’s desk this session.”
“We applaud the Senate for taking action to protect the public from the effects of climate change,” said Jeff Seyler, president & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Achieving our interim emission goals in 2030 and beyond is critical for the health of our lungs as both the particle pollution from emissions and rising temperatures which aid in the creation of ozone will only continue to harm the most vulnerable among us. We urge the subsequently formed comprehensive adaptation management action plan advisory commission to include health impacts in their assessment.”
A comprehensive adaptation management action plan would be established through a collaboration led by the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Secretary of Public Safety and Security. The plan would codify the goals, priorities and principles for resiliency, preservation, protection, restoration and enhancement of the Commonwealth’s built and natural infrastructure, based on data around existing and projected climate change impacts including temperature changes, drought, inland flooding and sea level rise.
Through the legislation, a comprehensive adaptation management action plan advisory committee would be established review the preparedness and vulnerabilities in the Commonwealth’s emergency response, energy, transportation, communications and other systems. The committee would also put forth a proposal that establishes and commits to sound management practices while compiling data on existing and projected sea-level rise using the best available science. The legislation also establishes a regional, comprehensive climate change adaptation management plan grant program to aid in the development of regional adaptation plans.
The bill has now been referred to the House of Representatives for consideration.