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Ben Hellerstein,
Environment Massachusetts

Governor’s climate order points in positive direction

For Immediate Release

Boston — Governor Charlie Baker issued an executive order today that directs state agencies to reduce global warming pollution and protect communities from the effects of climate change.

Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement:

“With more than half of Massachusetts facing an extreme drought, the need to act on global warming is clear.

“Governor Baker's executive order is a promising step towards addressing the largest sources of global warming pollution in Massachusetts — especially the transportation sector, where progress has been too slow. We're also glad to see the Governor reaffirm the important role that state offices and agencies can play in ‘leading by example’ by reducing their own carbon emissions.

“While today’s order points in the right direction, it is critical for Governor Baker and his officials to follow through on their commitments. The Baker administration must move quickly to adopt ambitious targets for expanding clean energy and reducing global warming pollution from transportation and other sectors. The administration’s support for stronger pollution limits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a good first step.

“When it comes to climate action, the proof is in the pudding. Today, Governor Baker promised to act on climate. We look forward to seeing him fulfill that promise.”

In August, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Baker administration is required to adopt declining limits on carbon emissions from various sectors under the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act. The executive order issued today directs the Department of Environmental Protection to limit carbon pollution from transportation and other sectors.

The order also directs state agencies to “lead by example in making new, additional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from Government operations,” and create a Climate Adaptation Plan to prepare for the impacts of global warming.

The Baker administration recently announced its support for stronger pollution limits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program that caps global warming pollution from power plants in Massachusetts and eight other northeastern states.

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Environment Massachusetts is the statewide, citizen-funded advocacy group working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.