Mass Power Forward's Roadmap Statement
Re: The Road Map Bill
On behalf of the over 200 organizations that make up the grassroots climate movement, Mass Power Forward is excited and grateful that the Legislature is taking up the critical question of updating the state’s climate and clean energy policies. We are writing in support of legislation to set more ambitious targets for increasing clean energy deployment and reducing climate pollution. Ultimately, we hope to see legislation advance that combines the best elements of several bills filed this session.
We want to be clear that An Act re-powering Massachusetts with 100 percent renewable energy (H.2836) is our priority at this time. While our coalition has also supported An Act to create a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving commonwealth (H.3983) we believe it does not go far enough. We are prioritizing the 100% Renewable Energy Act because it reflects the following factors we believe to be critical for strong climate policy this session.
Ensures that the communities that have the most at stake in our clean energy transition are included in the process. In particular, environmental justice communities and organized labor must have a seat at the table.
Transitions Massachusetts to 100% clean and renewable energy, from sources like the sun and the wind, for all needs including electricity, heating, and ground transportation.
Commits to a long-term target that has a more ambitious timeline than “net zero emissions by 2050.” According to the recent IPCC report, reaching net zero emissions globally by 2050 will give us only a 50% chance of keeping climate change to 1.5 oC. Massachusetts must move more aggressively and any climate legislation passed this session should include provisions that will come into force immediately, without a lengthy regulatory process.
Limits the use of offsets to meet Massachusetts’ emissions goals. The unrestricted use of carbon offsets to meet our emissions goals could hold back progress in transitioning away from fossil fuels, which would leave communities exposed to health-harming pollution indefinitely.
Includes municipal light plants (MLPs) in clean energy and carbon reduction requirements. Approximately 15% of Massachusetts’ electricity consumption occurs in communities served by MLPs. To achieve a full transition to renewable energy, we must ensure that these communities are included.
Prioritizes monitoring local heat islands and air pollution in municipalities and work with local public health affiliates or the Department of Public Health to reduce current impacts of exposure.
Rejects dirty and polluting forms of energy, such as wood biomass and trash incineration.
Prioritizes local and community-owned forms of clean energy generation and storage wherever possible.
Includes language allowing the state to periodically update its climate targets based upon the maturation of the international scientific climate consensus.
The reality of climate change is that we need action urgently and we need to act ambitiously. Note that even though H.2836 is our priority bill at this time, our focus is on achieving critical outcomes. Mass Power Forward will give due consideration to any legislation that includes the above priorities. We urge you to work with your colleagues in the House to advance clean energy and climate legislation that moves Massachusetts toward a clean, healthy, safe, and renewable future. Thank you again for your attention to this issue.
Mass Power Forward Planning Team, on behalf of our 200+ member organizations
Mass Power Forward Planning Team members: 350 Massachusetts, Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), Clean Water Action, Climate Action Now, GreenRoots, Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN), Neighbor to Neighbor, Pipeline Awareness Network of the Northeast (PLAN NE), Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter, Toxics Action Center, Unitarian Universalist Mass Action