Climate Change and the Environment

Recent Posts on LWVMA Action on the Environment

The League of Women Voters is committed to promoting an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest by recognizing the interrelationships of air quality, energy, land use, waste management and water resources.

LWVMA Steering Committee for Environmental Action and Advocacy

The mission of the Steering Committee for Environmental Action and Advocacy is to inform and engage members across the state on critical environmental issues and policies impacting Massachusetts, and to support and promote sustainable energy and environmental policy, legislation and local action.

The Committee coordinates a series of forums, live events and webinars, called the “LWVMA Climate and Energy Solutions Series.

Watch LWVMA Climate and Energy Solutions Series

International and National Climate Warnings Sound the Alarm: Window for Action Closing

Two important reports on climate change were released in late 2018: the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  special report and the US National Climate Assessment. Together, these reports sound the loudest alarm yet that devastating climate change is happening now and will continue to get far worse without immediate, large-scale action. In the starkest possible language, these reports tell us of the looming, catastrophic impact if we fail to respond appropriately and quickly.

The world is warming at an unprecedented and accelerating rate, and the window to effectively mitigate and adapt to the increasingly destructive effects of climate change is closing fast—leaving no “reset” option. The effects of climate change are already impacting our lives, public health, and our economy. These reports emphatically state that major efforts to decrease our carbon emissions and transition to a clean energy economy must be made within the next 10 to 12 years. Failure to take bold action now will result in a future with conditions beyond our capacity to manage.

Because of the complexity and politics of the issue, climate change has largely been left on the cutting-room floor of political agendas. Deliberate obfuscation of the facts by fossil fuel interests creates a cloud of confusion that keeps the public in the dark. Fossil fuel interests outspend environmental advocates 10:1 on climate lobbying, and that money has been very effective at stopping work on this critically important, existential issue. Climate change will easily slip back down the queue of concerns unless the public insists that elected officials prioritize immediate action on climate change.

The League has fought hard for meaningful climate action since the 1960s, and we continue the fight now. The most effective action we can take as individuals is to call and write our elected officials—those with the power to act at the level required—and demand that they take meaningful action on climate change without delay.

Supported Legislation 2019-2020

The League of Women Voters has been at the forefront of the environmental protection movement for decades, consistently supporting legislation to preserve our nation’s natural resources and protect our public health. We support legislation that seeks to protect our country from the physical, economic and public health effects of climate change while also providing pathways to economic prosperity.

LWVMA supports and opposes legislation after reviewing the bills  filed each 2-year session. For information on the LWVMA supported state legislation related to the environment, including energy and resource conservation, natural resources, and water resources are currently being considered and will be listed soon.

For information on efforts at the national level, coordinated by LWVUS, click here.

Regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI)

The recent Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) agreement signed on December 18, 2018 is seen as a major regional effort in its pledge to cap regional greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector – the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the region at 40%.

The TCI plan will be modeled on the “cap and invest” approach used in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), focused on emissions’ reductions from utilities. Six of the 9 TCI states are part of RGGI, with the exception of New York, New Jersey and Maine. As described in a Boston Globe article  about the agreement, “With the addition of just New York, the coalition would constitute more than one-fifth of the nation’s population and a quarter of the country’s overall economic output. If the states were a single country, they would rival Japan as the world’s third largest economy.” TCI states are committed to developing a plan for moving forward by the end of 2019. While a plan has yet to be developed and implemented, the blueprint exists in the RGGI program. More importantly, the agreement sends a clear message that the region understands the imperative to act on climate.

With the latest climate reports telling us that climate change is accelerating at an alarming rate and is already threatening our health, the environment and our economy, the urgency to act has never been clearer. We have the means; we need the political will and leadership to move forward.

LWVUS Price on Carbon Webinars

LWVUS Local League Toolkit for Climate Change

The LWVUS Climate Change Task Force encourages League members to consider adopting a Climate Initiative as part of their local program at their annual meetings this year.  There are two issue areas in particular where Leagues can make a real impact on greenhouse gas emissions — energy efficiency in buildings and renewable energy. The Grassroots Action Priorities section of the LWVUS Climate Action Toolkit includes detailed information about climate solutions. To share your League’s story, please send your answers to these questions to Task Force Chair, Eleanor Revelle (er@revelle.net).