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Climate Rallies Challenge Mass. to Do More

Mass. has a target of 3.2 GW of offshore wind power by 2035, but advocates hoped for more. (David_Kaspar/Pixabay)
Mass. has a target of 3.2 GW of offshore wind power by 2035, but advocates hoped for more. (David_Kaspar/Pixabay)
September 7, 2018

WORCESTER, Mass. – On Saturday, Bay Staters will be participating in Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice, an international day of action for green jobs and bold action against climate change. Rallies are taking place in multiple cities, including Boston, Provincetown, Beverly and Worcester.

According to Dr. Marty Nathan, a member of the steering committee for Climate Action Now, her group will be calling on Governor Charlie Baker and the state legislature to step up their efforts against climate change by committing to a transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

"We have the technology to mitigate climate change and to also create jobs and clean our air, so that our society is healthier and more just," says Nathan.

Last month Baker signed legislation to double the offshore wind energy target to 3.2 gigawatts by 2035.

But that legislation falls far short of the mandate for five gigawatts of offshore wind environmentalists have been calling for. And Nathan points out that there is much more the state could be doing.

"We need to be putting solar on all of the rooftops available and giving the benefits of solar and wind to the frontline communities facing air pollution from fossil fuel burning," says Nathan.

Nathan notes that Baker has agreed to import hydro-electric power from Quebec rather developing renewable sources that would create jobs here in Massachusetts.

Nathan says with the Trump administration withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord and rolling back federal efforts to control climate emissions, it's up to the states to step up and lead the way.

"We want Massachusetts to really become a model to show that this can be done nationally, and the state and its people can thrive," says Nathan.

The climate rallies are taking worldwide as leaders and advocates prepare to attend the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco starting on the 14th.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - MA