Youth organizations voice support for 100% renewable energy commitment

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kaitlyn Mitchell, 100% Renewables Campaign Coordinator, 413-244-0354, [email protected]

Boston – Organizations representing high school and college students sent a letter to state officials today urging them to pass legislation that will transition Massachusetts to 100% clean, renewable sources of energy.

“Massachusetts has a responsibility to set the precedents necessary to ensure a successful future for all,” said Melissa Meltzer, Hub Delegate for Sunrise Movement. “We stand in alignment with all those calling for divestment from fossil fuels.”

The youth-led organizations asked legislators to advance the 100% Renewable Energy Act (H.2836), filed by Representative Marjorie Decker and Representative Sean Garballey, which will transition Massachusetts to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable sources of energy for heating and transportation by 2045. A majority of House members have endorsed this bill.

Thirteen states have committed to phasing out the use of fossil fuel electricity by 2050 or sooner. In April, Virginia became the latest state to pass 100% clean electricity legislation. Under existing state law, Massachusetts would not reach 100% renewable electricity until 2095.

The Decker/Garballey 100% Renewable Energy Act is supported by a broad coalition, including health professionals, clean energy business leaders, and more than 50 environmental, public health, and civic organizations. It is a top priority for Mass Power Forward, a statewide coalition of environmental and environmental justice organizations.

In the Letter, the youth-led organizations say that they are concerned about the impacts of climate change, which could become much worse within the lifetimes of their members, as well as the health effects of fossil fuel pollution. Researchers have found that even a small increase in air pollution from fossil fuels is linked to a large increase in deaths from COVID-19. Fossil fuel pollution is also associated with asthma, heart disease, and premature birth.

The deadline for the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy to make a decision on the 100% Renewable Energy Act is July 22. The 2019–2020 legislative session is scheduled to end on July 31.

“We don’t have any time to waste. We should put Massachusetts on a path to 100% clean, renewable energy now,” said Kaitlyn Mitchell, 100% Renewable Energy Campaign Coordinator with MASSPIRG Students. “Our future, and the future of young people everywhere, is at stake.”