Category Archives: Advocacy

February Climate Champions Update 

Climate Champions is a Mass Audubon grassroots volunteer program to advocate for policies that advance nature-based climate solutions. With training from policy experts, Climate Champions advocate for local and state policies that help achieve the state’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and reverse negative health impacts of climate change for Environmental Justice communities.     

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield

How It’s Going 

We’ve wrapped up our 2022 Climate Champion actions and meetings. Together we have: 

  • Lobbied the state legislature in support of investments in climate and nature & won $540 million in the final Economic Development package, bringing total very close to $1B goal  
  • Advocated for Massachusetts’ landmark climate law 
  • Weighed in on the state’s proposal for net-zero buildings 
  • Elevated natural and working lands policies as an integral piece in Massachusetts’ climate plans 
  • Called for streamlining wetland restoration regulations, that are slowing pace of wetlands restoration
  • Made “Get Out the Vote” calls to environmental voters 
  • Led coalitions fighting for investments in open space and climate adaptation 
  • Promoted solar and wind policies that protect natural and working lands, wildlife, and habitats 
  • And so much more! 

In December, Climate Champions were trained by Mass Audubon’s policy experts about local town government, how to take local climate action, and the resources available to facilitate that action. Champions began researching their local legislators, learning about their influences and interests, to support our advocacy engagement. 

In January, the Policy and Advocacy staff shared Mass Audubon’s legislative priorities for the 2023-2024 legislative session and the Climate Champions jumped into action. They have been emailing and calling their legislators to ask them to co-sponsor our prioritized climate legislation.

Why is co-sponsoring a big deal? Co-sponsoring means the legislator commits in writing to support the bill, and a high number of co-sponsors is the best way for a bill to get early momentum. Our goal is to contact 100 state legislators to ask them to co-sponsor our priority climate legislation. 

What’s Next 

Climate Champions will be supporting Mass Rivers Alliance in a day of climate action at the State House for Lobby for the Rivers Day on March 15. Together we’ll speak up for drought management and nature-based climate solutions to make our communities more resilient to climate change. At pre-lobby day workshops, champions will also have training on the legislative process, environmental issues, and tips on talking with their legislators. 

As legislative hearings ramp up in April and May, Mass Audubon’s policy experts will train Climate Champions on how to give testimony in support of our prioritized climate legislation.  

Learn More 

Become a Climate Champion, no matter your time constraints or experience level! 

Find out more and sign up > 

State Releases New Resilient Lands Initiative  

three tree swallows on wood posts in a salt marsh and water
Tree Swallows

On January 4, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) released the Resilient Lands Initiative (RLI) Vision. We’re thrilled that this framework to protect and improve the quality of life for residents of every Massachusetts community through nature conservation and stewardship initiatives was among the final actions of the Baker Administration. 

EEA engaged with stakeholders across the Commonwealth when it developed the RLI Vision, and it reflects many of the goals defined in Governor Healey’s Climate Plan—namely those focused on Natural and Working Lands. Importantly, it also supports the incoming Administration’s aggressive goals for affordable housing. 

The actions outlined in the RLI Vision will help the Commonwealth achieve its climate goals, reduce vulnerability to climate impacts such as urban heat islands and coastal flooding, improve water quality, and protect wildlife and natural systems. What’s more, RLI used two lenses in shaping its objectives: 1. diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and 2. climate change.  

Nature-based climate solutions are essential to improving the quality of life for every resident of the Commonwealth and for meeting our 2030 and 2050 Climate Roadmap imperatives. The RLI Vision is an important framework that should be used to ensure that nature does its part in meeting these critical needs.   

As part of Mass Audubon’s Resilient Landscape goal of our Action Agenda, we are dramatically expanding our efforts to protect, restore, and steward the state’s most important natural lands. Working in close partnership with others, we aim to conserve an additional 150,000 acres of the Commonwealth’s most important and biodiverse habitats, bringing the percentage of protected land in the state to 30%. The RLI Vision is another huge step toward achieving this goal. 

There is much work to be done, and we’re thrilled that the “menu-based” approach offers many potential actions to choose from as future capital budgets are developed, legislative agendas and regulatory updates considered, and decisions on policy and programmatic options contemplated. 

Mass Audubon and the hundreds of advocates that participated in developing the RLI Vision stand ready to support and assist the Healey Administration as it implements its ambitious goals and objectives for climate, resilient lands, and affordable housing.