Boston – Activists from the millennial generation gathered at the State House today asking legislators to put Massachusetts on a path to 100% renewable energy by 2045.
“As millennials, the way our society produces and consumes energy will affect our lives for decades to come,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “The good news is that we have the power to do something about it.”
The Millennials for 100% Renewable Energy Lobby Day brought together dozens of people in their 20s and 30s to ask legislators to support a statewide transition to 100% renewable sources of energy for electricity, buildings, and transportation.
At a reception to kick off the lobby day, leaders announced the launch of the Millennials for 100% Renewable Energy Network, connecting members of the millennial generation in government, universities, nonprofits, and the private sector to collaborate on clean energy solutions.
“We are witnessing a crisis being thrust upon an entire generation,” said Representative Sean Garballey (D-Arlington). “With little to no thought of the future being considered by those in Washington, young people have decided that to tackle this issue, they will have to rely on nobody but themselves. It is inspiring to see the future leaders of tomorrow organizing for change that will benefit all, even those who dismiss the importance and severity of climate change.”
"Representing eight coastal communities, climate change is an issue that is always top of mind," said Senator Patrick O'Connor (R-Weymouth). "Millennials have the skills, knowledge, and motivation to push for significant strides on this issue. I'm proud of my fellow millennials that joined us today to stand up for the issues that are important to them and to our future."
The lobby day was sponsored by Environment Massachusetts, MASSPIRG Students, Resonant Energy, Vineyard Power, and 350 Mass for a Better Future.
Millennials asked legislators to support the 100% Renewable Energy Act (H.2836, S.1958), which would transition Massachusetts to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable energy sources for heating and transportation by 2045. So far, 113 legislators, including a majority of the House of Representatives and Senate, have cosponsored the bill.
Lobby day attendees also voiced their support for other bills to increase the use of clean energy and make technologies like solar energy accessible to people from all walks of life.
“Massachusetts must lead the way to a 100% clean and renewable future,” said Kaitlyn Mitchell, 100% Renewable Energy Campaign Coordinator for MASSPIRG Students. “Our generation is united in calling for a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.”
In December, more than 80 of the state’s top millennial leaders came together at the Millennial Leadership Summit for 100% Renewable Energy to share their work to increase renewable energy adoption and identify opportunities for collaboration.
Later this week, local leaders will gather at Millennials for 100% Renewable Energy events in Fitchburg and Springfield.
“We can power our lives without polluting our air or changing our climate,” said Hellerstein. “Millennials will lead the way toward a cleaner, healthier, and safer future.”