Climate Change is an existential threat and a defining issue of our time.
Throughout the country, we’re already seeing dramatic effects: unprecedented droughts, heat waves, and wildfires; record cold and snow; floods that have drowned city and countryside alike; and major hurricanes that have displaced whole communities.
In the absence of bold, collective action, these trends will only worsen. The human suffering will continue to mount. That’s why, above all, this is about our values as a country: It is a test of our political system’s ability to respond to big challenges, and to shape a society that cares for our environment, upholds human dignity, and protects the most vulnerable. It’s time for a Green New Deal.
As mayor of Holyoke, I worked with local advocates and experts to help turn our community into a leader in the fight against climate change. Since I took office, we’ve reduced the city’s energy consumption by 20%, overseen the closure of the last coal power plant in Massachusetts and its replacement with the largest solar farm in the Commonwealth. We’ve committed the city to the goal of achieving 100% clean renewable energy, and as of today, we’re at 92% – almost there.
But local communities cannot do it alone. We need partners at the federal level who are willing to think big and engage the communities who are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis and tap into the grassroots energy of organizations already waging this fight. Together, we can heal our planet and shape an economy that leaves no one behind.
Swiftly Transition to a 100% Renewable Energy Future: The science is clear – we have ten years to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis. We must fully and rapidly transition to a 100% clean and renewable energy economy. Let us summon the best of our skills and energies to get this done, investing in green energy like wind, solar, and geothermal, and fully electrifying all modes of transportation.
Hold Polluters Accountable: We can no longer stand by while corporate polluters and fossil fuel executives knowingly endanger the planet. It’s time to end fossil fuel subsidies, implement equitable carbon pricing, and take legal steps to limit companies’ ability to wreak havoc on the climate.
Ensure a Just Transition for Frontline Communities and Workers: A Green New Deal must leave no one behind. Let us train and empower those currently employed in the fossil fuel industry and those communities most affected by that industry to find solid, dignified jobs in our new economy, including right here in MA-1.
Support MA-1 Farmers by Investing in Regenerative Agriculture: “Regenerative Agriculture” describes farming and grazing practices that rebuild soil organic matter and restore biodiversity. The result? It helps reverse climate change. Right now, we should invest in family farms, break up big agribusiness, and restructure incentives to promote these practices. It’s a win-win: supporting MA-1 farmers and protecting the planet at the same time.
Environmental Justice: A Green New Deal must confront environmental racism and provide redress for the disproportionate impact of climate change upon marginalized communities. That means helping to provide adaptive measures and relief for those who are most affected by climate-induced extreme weather, and welcoming migrants and refugees who have been forced to flee from climate-related disasters.
Upgrading MA-1 Housing Stock: I will fight for federal funding for the upgrading and weatherization of residential and commercial buildings in MA-1 and around the country. Such investments would dramatically reduce emissions and overall energy consumption. Additionally, I support the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act.
Addressing climate change is a fundamental test for our politics. Will we have the courage and the vision to care for our planet and for future generations? When I’m in Congress, I will fight each and every day to make sure that we will.
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