June 14, 2022
Leading Massachusetts businesses and institutions urge progress on combined 2022 Climate and Clean Energy Bill
BOSTON— Today, 31 leading businesses and institutions called on Massachusetts lawmakers to finalize a strong 2022 climate and clean energy bill. Having passed the House and Senate, the bill is currently being reviewed by a conference committee whose members are working to resolve differences and produce final legislation for enactment by the Legislature.
In 2021, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a landmark Next Generation Roadmap law, which requires the Commonwealth to reduce emissions 50% by 2030 and to achieve net-zero by 2050. Currently, the Commonwealth is not on track to meet these mandates. To make progress toward these requirements, there must be ambitious, data-driven, and comprehensive clean energy legislation passed by the Massachusetts Legislature each session.
If reported out by the committee and signed into law this summer, the 2022 climate and clean energy bill has the potential to move us toward our shared climate goals and grow our clean energy economy. With the 2021-2022 legislative session ending this summer, the climate conference committee has less than 60 days to craft a final bill that makes meaningful progress toward our clean energy goals.
A group of 31 leading companies and institutions with significant operations in the Commonwealth sent a letter to the conferees in support of key environmental provisions in the bill. They are calling on the committee to ensure the final bill’s language works to accelerate the clean energy economy, invests in green infrastructure, and prioritizes equity and justice.
“With the looming threat of the climate crisis and the continuing impacts that global instability has on our energy supply, the need to pass bold clean energy legislation is clearer than ever before,” the businesses write. “In particular, we wish to express our support for including language in a final bill produced by your committee that advances our shared environmental and economic goals.”
“Achieving carbon neutrality is not only critical to the success of our efforts to reduce climate impact disparities being felt across the communities we serve, it also provides opportunities for members of those marginalized communities to enter the clean energy workforce,” said Bob Biggio, Senior Vice President Facilities & Support Services at Boston Medical Center. “The benefits go beyond economic, getting to the very core of what it means to create healthier, happier communities.”
“Climate change is a public health crisis,” said Dr. Lindsey Butler, Director of Climate and Health Resilience at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, “and communities of color and low income populations shoulder a disproportionate burden of both. Massachusetts has a responsibility to lead in modelling solutions to address our environmental and equity challenges.”
“Taking steps toward the decarbonization of our economy should lead to positive outcomes for Massachusetts, such as improved quality of life, expanded opportunities for marginalized communities and spur job growth in new industries,” said Gary Levante, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Culture at Berkshire Bank. “We all need to work together to build the net-zero future we envision.”
“Massachusetts has already set some of the most ambitious climate targets in the country and has an opportunity to become a global leader in the clean energy economy,” said Kate Monohan, Director of Shareholder Advocacy at Trillium Asset Management. “But to fully unleash the investments of both the clean energy industry and the many companies that can benefit from it, these targets must now be put into action. We urge Statehouse lawmakers to promptly approve an ambitious climate and clean energy package that will help companies, consumers, workers, and the entire Massachusetts economy prosper.”
“To meet the scale and urgency of our environmental challenges, we need to continually pass legislation to decarbonize each sector of our economy,” said Miriam Posner Harris, Executive Vice President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts who helped marshal support for the letter. “Massachusetts business and institutions know that our policymakers must take action every session to make meaningful progress in the fight for our environment, public health, and clean energy future.”
“The lofty targets of the Next Generation Climate Roadmap Act marked strong progress, but the legislature needs to act now to adopt specific policies to ensure we reach those targets” said Alli Gold Roberts, Senior Director of State Policy at Ceres. “Massachusetts businesses and investors support additional ambition because there is no time to lose in addressing the economic threats of climate change. There are significant economic opportunities in investing in our clean energy industry, built sector, and transportation infrastructure. With only weeks left in the legislative session, lawmakers must pass a bill that will grow a more sustainable, equitable, and competitive clean energy economy across the Commonwealth.”
This group of businesses and institutions was convened by a number of environmental organizations, including the Environmental League of Massachusetts, Ceres, Health Care Without Harm, and Second Nature.