Experts, civic leaders, and environmental groups urge support for 100 percent renewable energy commitment
Boston — State leaders should act quickly to approve omnibus energy legislation including a commitment to power Massachusetts with 100 percent renewable energy, according to letters delivered today to legislators.
“By moving to 100 percent renewable energy, we’ll ensure healthier communities today and a safer future for our children,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “Civic leaders and experts are asking for a bold commitment to 100 percent renewable energy, and for the action necessary to make it a reality.”
In February, the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change approved an omnibus clean energy bill (S.2302). The legislation includes a commitment to power the electric grid with 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, from sources like solar and wind, and convert heating, transportation, and other energy uses to renewable energy by 2050.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Senator Karen Spilka, must now approve the bill before it moves to a vote of the full Senate.
Environment Massachusetts delivered three letters to members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee today supporting the inclusion of the 100 percent renewable energy commitment in the omnibus clean energy bill:
- The first letter, signed by 21 academics and energy experts, affirms the feasibility of powering Massachusetts with 100 percent renewable energy and the necessity of phasing out all fossil fuel use by mid-century to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and protect public health.
- The second letter, also voicing support for a statewide 100 percent renewable energy commitment, is signed by 41 organizations, 23 businesses, and 50 civic leaders (including local elected officials, physicians, and faith leaders, among others).
- The third letter to the Senate Ways and Means Committee is signed by more than 700 Massachusetts residents.
In January 2017, Representative Sean Garballey, Representative Marjorie Decker, and Senator Jamie Eldridge filed the 100% Renewable Energy Act (S.1849, H.3395). The omnibus clean energy bill includes most of the provisions of the 100% Renewable Energy Act, along with other measures to expand solar, wind, and other clean energy technologies.
So far, at least seven cities and towns in Massachusetts have committed to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. Boston University, Harvard University, and Partners HealthCare have also pledged to go 100 percent renewable. Globally, more than 120 major companies have adopted 100 percent renewable energy targets, including Biogen, P&G, and Google.
Last week, Environment Massachusetts launched “Sox Go Green,” a new campaign asking the Boston Red Sox to commit to 100 percent renewable energy.
“When we power our lives with clean energy like solar and wind, our air will be cleaner, our families will be healthier, and our Commonwealth will be safer from the devastating effects of climate change,” said Hellerstein. “With bold leadership from state officials, we can achieve 100 percent renewable energy.”
Environment Massachusetts is the statewide, citizen-funded advocacy group working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.