Letter to the Editor

WE ARE VUNERABLE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Dear Mr.Speaker:

Last winter  served as a reminder  of how vulnerable Winthrop,Revere and East Boston are to climate change. We saw record flooding and storm surges,and many members of our community lost power.  Our beloved Belle Isle Marsh saw extreme flooding, with salt inundating the upland habitat,killing wildlife, trees and other vegetation.

We know that more of this is in our future. A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that Winthrop is the single most vulnerable coastalcommunity in the Commonwealth when it comes to sea level rise;it shows that in a “high sea level rise” scenario,11 percent of Winthrop will be {/chronically inundated”- i.e., flooding in over 10 percent of the land area- at least 26 times per year by 2030.

For that reason we urge you to act with urgency in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are exacerbating climate change.

Massachusetts is not going to solve climate change on its own. But we are a leader state that others follow. With this in mind we respectfully urge you to support accelerating the Renewable Portfolio Standard {RPS) to 3 percent a year.

The RPS is a mandate on electric suppliers,including the utilities,to source

A certain percentage of renewable energy.  In 2018,this requirement is 13 percent, and under current law it increases by 1 percent per year. At that rate,we will be at

25 percent renewable energy by 2030.

In contrast, California,New York and New Jersey have set goals of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

By boosting our rate of increase to 3 percent a year starting in 2019, the Commonwealth would reach 49 percent renewable energy by 2030,speeding our transition to fossil free energy, keeping more energy dollars here at home, and creating local jobs.

The other issue we would like you to support is a statewide ban on plastic bags. Over eighty communities in Massachusetts,including Boston,have voted to ban them; Winthrop and Revere are likely to follow  suit. It

makes more sense to have one uniform policy across the state. This is a common sense way to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in our environment, particularly our marine environment.

 

Sincerely,

Friends of Belle Isle Marsh

Joanne McKenna

President

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