Developing Clean Energy Pays Off

It’s wonderful that so many American cities are adopting sustainable, clean practices

By Judy Weiss

Kudos to Whitefish for forming a citizen climate action advisory committee. It’s wonderful that so many American cities are adopting sustainable, clean practices for water and energy. In 2017, Boston will host an international climate summit for urban leaders, businesses and clean energy innovators. Perhaps Whitefish representatives will be able to attend.

Boston has different climate change issues than Whitefish. Our city is just a few feet about sea level: much of Boston was built on landfill. We already get “sunny day flooding,” and we’ve been dealing with a multi-year drought, rising average temperatures, and extreme precipitation events.

Fortunately, developing clean energy and efficiencies pays off – our state’s green industry grew by more than 10 percent per year over the last few years, and currently employs about 100,000 people. It’ll grow further as we develop offshore wind farms.

And we face challenges. One-third of our emissions come from heating/cooling buildings. It’ll be difficult to convert old New England housing (especially city apartment buildings that currently have centralized steam heating systems) to carbon-free heating.

A group of local teenagers sued Massachusetts for not complying with state law that requires regulations be issued to lower emissions on a set schedule. In 2016, our state’s Superior Judicial Court ordered the state to issue regulations for emissions from all types of sources.

We’ll keep cutting emissions because the court ordered it, and because our children are our future, and they need a healthy climate.

Thanks for all you’re doing.

Judy Weiss
Brookline, Massachusetts

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