Statement: Climate bill shows the power of youth action

Press Release

BOSTON – Gov. Charlie Baker signed a climate bill into law Thursday that will reduce energy waste and help transition Massachusetts’ buildings and transportation system from fossil fuels to clean energy.

The bill (H.5060) passed both the Massachusetts House and Senate with broad, bipartisan support in July. Gov. Baker returned the bill to the Legislature on July 29 with amendments, many of which lawmakers adopted before sending a revised version back to the governor for his signature.

Ashley Agostinelli, MASSPIRG Students board chair, issued the following statement:

“I’ve grown up seeing the impacts of climate change all around me. In the face of such a massive problem, it’s easy to feel discouraged. But today, with the passage of this climate bill, I’m hopeful.

“For years, MASSPIRG Students has worked to build the grassroots movement for a future powered by clean, renewable energy sources. We’ve mobilized thousands of our fellow students to contact their state legislators in support of clean energy policies. We’ve pushed our universities to get off of fossil fuels, helping convince administrators at UMass Amherst to transition to 100% renewable energy for electricity and heating by 2032.

“State leaders have answered our call for action with a strong climate bill that will increase the use of clean energy and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Today is proof that when young people organize, we can make a difference. With this bill, we can all look forward to a healthier, safer future.”

Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement:

“In July, President Joe Biden came to Massachusetts to call for climate action. Today, our state’s leaders have answered that call. We’re grateful to energy committee chairs Rep. Jeff Roy and Sen. Michael Barrett, as well as the rest of the Legislature and Gov. Baker, for making this happen. 

“This bill is a big deal. It will require the owners of large office and apartment buildings to disclose the amount of energy their buildings use each year. It will ensure that all new cars sold in Massachusetts are electric by 2035. It will accelerate our transition to renewable sources of electricity, including wind and solar. And it will allow up to 10 cities and towns to require new buildings to include clean, all-electric heating and appliances, paving the way to safer, healthier homes and businesses for all of us.

“With this bill becoming law, leaders in Massachusetts of all political stripes are showing that states can take meaningful climate action. This bill gives me hope that we can work together to build a future where all of us can thrive. We’re thrilled for our Commonwealth to play a key role in building a world powered by 100% clean energy.”