Majority of legislators back transition to 100% renewable energy by 2045

Press Release

Boston – A majority of state legislators have endorsed bills to transition Massachusetts to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

“Powering our lives with 100 percent renewable energy means clean air, healthy communities, and a safe climate,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts. “That’s the future we need for Massachusetts — and I’m thrilled that so many lawmakers agree.”

So far, 113 legislators have cosponsored An Act repowering Massachusetts with 100 percent renewable energy (HD.3092), filed by Representative Marjorie Decker and Representative Sean Garballey, or An Act transitioning Massachusetts to 100 percent renewable energy (SD.1625), filed by Senator Jamie Eldridge.

These bills would transition Massachusetts to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and power other energy uses, like heating and transportation, with 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

The cosponsors include 89 representatives and 24 senators, more than half of the members of each chamber.

“Our lives, our livelihood, and the future of our planet are fundamentally tied to both our belief in the devastating impacts of climate change as well as to acting on those beliefs, which ultimately means shifting our dependence to renewable energy,” said Representative Marjorie Decker (Cambridge). “The choices we make to power our homes, transportation systems, and workplaces are just that — choices. To say we are at a crossroads with our energy future is to fail to describe the magnitude of this situation. Climate change is real, and we must take action to address it by adopting 100 percent renewable energy.”

“I am proud to be re-filing this bill with the support of my environmentally conscious colleagues who realize change is necessary,” added Representative Sean Garballey (Arlington).

“We are literally running out of time to take meaningful action that will seriously limit the destructive impact of climate change,” Senator Jamie Eldridge (Acton) said. “Our best chance at reversing global warming is to commit to a future powered entirely by clean energy, and pass legislation to systematically reach that goal. When we invest in renewable energy, we also invest in cleaner air, healthier communities, and thousands of local jobs. I’m encouraged that a Green New Deal is close to becoming a reality nationally, but we can’t afford to wait and see what happens in Congress. Time is running out to save our planet, and we have to take immediate bold action in Massachusetts.”

So far, 45 environmental, civic, and business organizations have endorsed a statewide commitment to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. The Mass Power Forward coalition has included these bills among its top priorities for the 2019-2020 legislative session.

Student volunteers and organizers with MASSPIRG Student Chapters across the state mobilized their peers to make phone calls in the final few days before the cosigner deadline.
A version of 100 percent renewable energy legislation was filed last session with 56 sponsors.

Hawaii and California have committed to phase out fossil fuel electricity by 2045, and the governors of at least nine other states have stated their support for a transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

More than 160 global companies, including Apple, P&G, and Biogen, have committed to 100 percent renewable energy targets. Major institutions like Boston University and Partners HealthCare have also pledged to go 100 percent renewable.

“It’s our generation that will see the worst impact of climate change, said Samantha Gibb, Organizing Director for the MASSPIRG Student chapters. “Students across the state are concerned about the increasing extreme weather conditions and the public health & safety risk that results from our reliance on fossil fuels. We applaud Representative Decker, Representative Garballey, and Senator Eldridge for their leadership, and to all of the legislators who are supporting these bills.”