Environment & Climate Change

Smart growth helps protect the natural systems that support life. By creating vibrant places that attract people and investment, growth can be directed away from forests, farmland, and other important resources. Smart growth is also about strengthening protections for natural areas themselves and improving the environment where people live.

The largest environmental challenge of our time is climate change. It is clear that our world is warming and climates are changing. Plant and animal habitats are shifting, and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. The rising seas threaten many of our fragile coastland areas as well as our largest cities. Change has accelerated so rapidly that we need to adapt at the same time that we try to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that we pump into the atmosphere.

Goals

  1. Full implementation of the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy and Climate Change Plan for 2020, including the land-use and transportation recommendations.
  2. Increased funding for the Department of Environmental Protection. Without adequate staffing, DEP cannot review and permit projects in a timely fashion, which threatens both the economy and the environment.
  3. Adoption of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in more cities and towns, providing an important local funding source for park improvements and open space protection.
  4. Encourage the Commonwealth to identify Priority Preservation Areas across the entire state and implement mechanisms to protect these areas.
  5. Maintain the Patrick Administration’s historic investment in land conservation at $50 million annually.

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