Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Two updates on the climate "Roadmap bill"

350 Mass' email newsletter has this update to summarize legislative action on the Roadmap bill.

On Friday night at 9 PM the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed The 2050 Roadmap bill. Introduced by Rep Meschino, this bill updates the Global Warming Solutions Act and commits the state to create a roadmap to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. 
This bill is the House’s response to the Senate Climate package passed in January of 2020. Both houses passing overarching climate policy demonstrates the power of grassroots organizing and coalition building. 
In this legislative session that began January 2019, 350 Mass and our partners in the Mass Power Forward coalition and beyond have been advocating for a commitment to 100% renewable energy, environmental justice, and equitable investment in green infrastructure. 
Bills with strong provisions, explicit 100% renewable goals, and a shorter time-line among other desirable provisions were not allowed to pass through committees. However, the Roadmap bill, with a focus on planning, was allowed to come to the floor. When it did, 350 Mass and our allies pushed for improving amendments, several of which passed. 
For all its shortcomings, the Roadmap Bill does provide a foundation for future efforts. And it is a step forward for a Legislature that has not passed significant climate protection laws for years— we can thank our representatives who have tirelessly championed our bills, and we must continue to push for policies that go further."
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Two updates on the climate "Roadmap bill"
Two updates on the climate "Roadmap bill"

Commonwealth Magazine also summarizes what is in the Roadmap bill:
"ON WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN the last day of the 2019-2020 legislative session, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a Roadmap Bill, helping to lay the foundation for a slightly more ambitious – and much better planned – decarbonization of the economy. Crucially, the final bill also included an amendment around environmental justice, which would codify into law protections for low-income communities and communities of color which face disproportionate burdens of pollution due to decades of environmental racism and the systematic undervaluing of black, indigenous, immigrant, and poor lives. 
Both the roadmap bill in general and the environmental justice component specifically deserve our praise and gratitude, particularly when the House could have used the guise of the pandemic to swear off climate action. Following the Senate’s “Next Generation” climate bill passed earlier this year, it is clear that both House and Senate leadership have over the course of this session tried to answer the question of how to respond to climate change with an authentic, thoughtful response."
Continue reading the article online 

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