MCC Statement on Climate Change

mcc

January 27, 2021

Within the next few days the Massachusetts legislature is expected to enact a sweeping climate change bill that closely mirrors the bill that gained approval in both branches at the end of the last legislative session. 1 That bill, “An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy”, sets forth several new standards directly addressing the climate crisis in Massachusetts. It would also serve as a legislative framework for jurisdictions beyond our borders because it is widely accepted that climate change is a global crisis.

It is expected the new bill will establish important standards to increase the development of clean energy and set forth achievable goals of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions within several years. The bill will also include, but not be limited to, environmental justice, natural gas pipeline safety, energy efficient appliance standards and more.

Pope Francis stated, “A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climate system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events, even if a scientifically determinable cause cannot be assigned to each particular phenomenon. Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it.”2

Governor Baker and the legislature share a common goal - the absolute need to fight the climate crisis starting as quickly as possible. However, there are some differences on the means to achieve that goal. On behalf of the Bishops of the four Dioceses of Massachusetts, I urge our political leaders to find common ground in the days that follow and enact a bill that is vital in providing for a healthy future for all Massachusetts residents and the generations that will follow.

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The Massachusetts Catholic Conference is the public policy office of the four Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts.

James F. Driscoll

Executive Director

jdriscoll@macatholic.org

1 Senate Bill 2995 was vetoed by Governor Baker and not enacted into law.

2 Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’- on Care for our Common Home-May 24, 2015, paragraph 23 -in part.