Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo proposed a plans to help the state combat the crisis of climate change.
DeLeo prepared a plan where a $1 billion environmental grant program would fund municipal efforts for building clean energy infrastructures and climate resilience programs.
“We like that this has become an issue that leadership in the state is now taking seriously,” said Drew Grande, Clean Energy Program Director at the Mass Climate Action Network. “We’re also excited to see that there’s a new fund of money that’s available for climate projects.”
WBUR reported that DeLeo said the plan will continue to fund the state’s commitment to
combating climate change while giving each city and town the flexibility to make their own
locally driven decisions.
“This isn’t all just about the water situation, flooding and all that,” DeLeo said according toWBUR. “It deals with every single city and town, no matter what their needs may be. There will be money to address those needs.”
The plan is called the GreenWorks Resilient Communities Investment Plan and would disperse the $1 billion over a 10 year span, which is funded by borrowing, according DeLeo.
“I think what we’re hopeful about from this is that that pool of money is going to go back to communities,” Grande said, “and what we would like to see happen is if it can be dealt out through the green communities.”
The Executive Office of Energy Environmental Affairs says that scientists predict an eight percent increase in extreme precipitation events in northeastern U.S. by mid-century, and up to a 13 percent increase by the year 2100. This would make flooding an increasing issue.
Climate change and increasing temperatures is said to severely impact the Bay State through increased virulence of viruses, decimation of sensitive crops and plants, a decline in air quality that can increase asthma and other human health effects, and more, according to the report.
The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change says that there are not many years left until the effects of climate change will be too hard to come back from. DeLeo’s proposal does not have the plan to work quickly with in this time frame, but Grande is still hopeful.
“We do have a 10 year window that we’re looking at, and I think this is a step towards that,” said Grande. “Massachusetts is once again presenting itself as a leader on these issues so we are going to be ready to be set up as an example for the rest of the country.”