A sampling of news from Mass Audubon’s weekly advocacy updates – sign up here
Mass Audubon Weighs In
We provided input for this Huffington Post article on balancing solar expansion, agriculture, and open space protection.
Mass Audubon joined partners in urging the Biden-Harris Administration to reverse environmental rollbacks made over the last few years. This includes support for the Endangered Species Act and equitable conservation funding. And in their first few weeks, the Administration has filed a series of Executive Orders that include a directive to review the boundaries and conditions of several National Monuments, including the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts — an important first step toward restoring the site’s protections.
We also signed on opposing state Renewable Portfolio Standard revisions that weaken standards for biomass to qualify for financial incentives. Biomass energy, which relies on burning wood and other materials, should not be considered a non-emitting energy source, and can worsen air quality.
Despite strong grassroots support, Governor Baker chose not to sign the Next-generation roadmap bill that would establish net-zero targets and ensure prioritization of Environmental Justice communities, among other goals. However, the bill was refiled at the start of the new legislative session, quickly passed again in the House and Senate, and is back on the Governor’s desk. This time, the legislature can overturn a veto or work with the Governor on amendments.
The Baker Administration released their 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap, detailing policies and strategies to combat climate change.
In other climate policy news, Massachusetts has officially signed on to the regional Transportation Climate Initiative Program (TCI-P), which aims to significantly reduce regional carbon emissions from our largest source, the transportation sector. Learn more about the TCI-P’s benefits and shortcomings.
The state Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program has released new toolkits, which include several Mass Audubon resources. The Program is also encouraging cities and towns considering applying for the FY22 MVP Action Grant application round to fill out a short Expression of Interest form.
→ Global heating could stabilize if net zero emissions are achieved
→ A record number of billion-dollar climate disasters took place in 2020
→ A federal appeals court has struck down the Trump Administration’s Clean Power Plan replacement
→ US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord
→ Vineyard Wind has resumed its permitting process after temporarily withdrawing their construction and operation plan from review last month