GREENFIELD – State Representative Joan Meschino wanted to provide Massachusetts with a roadmap to reduce harmful emissions in hopes of curbing climate change.
“What I learned was we didn’t have a plan,” Meschino, D-Hull, told a crowd gathered at Energy Park on Saturday. “That’s why I filed the net zero bill.”
Meschino was joined on Saturday by State Representative Paul Mark, D-Peru, to discuss “legislation creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy.” The event also featured introductory speeches by Mayor of Greenfield, Roxann Wedegartner, and Kate Stevens and Kate Mason of the Franklin County Interfaith Council.
“A law creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy,” which has since been enacted, allows the state greater flexibility and efficiency in how to reduce emissions. The ultimate goal is to achieve zero greenhouse gases by 2050.
At the same time, the law aims to create economic opportunities. Meschino, on the general theme of climate change, said at the start of his speech that “the real solution is economic”.
“We have put in place what I call a people-centered lens,” Meschino said, adding that the solution is inseparable from socio-economic concerns, social justice and environmental justice.
“We are looking at the barriers that are once in a generation that people don’t realize are hindering (climate action),” Mark said.
Lawmakers have largely focused on transportation as a central goal of improvement going forward.
“I’ll tell you what’s next,” Meschino said. “We have to tackle transport. … We will not register any internal combustion engines after 2035.
Questions participants posed later in the afternoon revolved around this topic, as well as topics related to deforestation, solar energy, school grant funding, resource inequality, and opportunities for development. ‘use.
When it comes to future success, Meschino and Mark each stressed the importance of getting help from state and federal governments. Mark said a major federal infrastructure bill that would provide additional funding is extremely important in Massachusetts to meeting its emission reduction targets. Meschino focused on a smaller scale, telling Gov. Charlie Baker that energy reform advocates need to “push him” and “push him out” if he doesn’t respond adequately.
“We cannot let the administration rest on its laurels,” Meschino said. “In fact, we have to get them to do something. ”
Reducing the scope of his goal even further, Meschino went directly to the people of Franklin County.
“Don’t overlook regional opportunities, regional initiatives and regional projects that you also have,” she said.
This corresponded to the idea expressed by Wedegartner to open the discussion on Saturday.
“We are, in Franklin County and western Massachusetts, the lungs,” she said.
Contact Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or [email protected]