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Pleased New 12 months for Local weather & Cleantech, New England?

Pleased New 12 months! In response to the science, over the subsequent 7 years we should concentrate on decreasing emissions of heat-trapping gases considerably to halve emissions by 2030 and keep away from the worst impacts of local weather change. Getting there requires an all-of-society method; getting there requires management in any respect ranges of presidency.

Inauguration Week

All of us settled in to work final week, state legislatures convened, and governors took their oaths of workplace. From January three to six, I watched or listened to the inaugural ceremonies of every of the six New England governors. Whereas inaugurations will be stuffed with pomp and circumstance, all that’s required at an inauguration is the swearing in (so that when an individual takes the oath of workplace, everybody acknowledges the newly incumbent chief govt officer is now charged with presiding over their state).

Inaugural addresses aren’t required however they’re vital

Inaugural addresses current governors and their states with the façade of a recent begin, a brand new starting. Rhetoric in these speeches is usually used to unify, heal wounds from the marketing campaign season and place markers down. Whereas they might not provide coverage specifics of their inaugural addresses, governors use them to put out their imaginative and prescient and stake out their priorities.

Is local weather change a precedence for our New England Governors?

The six inaugural addresses trace at how our New England governors may confront local weather change of their administration and the way they could work with legislators and native governments to deal with the challenges folks and companies are dealing with right now and can face from a altering local weather. These ‘new starting’ speeches are designed to supply many issues to a various array of stakeholders: a path ahead for the legislature; rules to the occasion devoted; options to folks.

A standard problem for all folks in our states is local weather change; it’s straightforward to see that local weather impacts are society-wide and decreasing emissions can have constructive financial outcomes. Consider the wheels of commerce extra often derailed by extreme storms and other people having extra money of their pockets as a result of their houses are buttoned up and insulated.

So what did the governors say?

Under is a state-by-state abstract of how the New England chief executives included power and local weather of their first speeches as 2023 governors; hyperlinks are offered for readers who want to see all the speeches.

Rhode Island

Governor Dan McKee’s January 3 inaugural address made no point out of local weather change, however in a reference as temporary because the state is small, McKee did test one renewable power field:

We now have momentum. We’re bringing offshore wind to East Windfall.


Governor Lamont’s January 4 inaugural acknowledges power prices and factors his finger at utilities. Whereas he doesn’t point out local weather change, there’s a temporary nod to local weather options by way of emissions reductions:

Come on electrical utilities, don’t inform me you’re simply passing alongside these excessive pure gasoline costs to the ratepayer and on the similar time ask the taxpayers to subsidize it extra. Let’s collectively get management over our power provide chain so Putin and the Saudis can now not management our future and our wallets.

We now have made a begin by increasing our wind energy, extending our nuclear energy, pushing exhausting to get entry to Canadian hydro energy, and making our houses extra power environment friendly—that’s much less prices and carbon free.


Governor Mills’ inaugural address January 4 mirrored on the commitments she made 4 years in the past in addition to the follow-through she presided over in her first time period:

You requested us to concentrate to what the United Nations scientists have known as a “Code Pink for Humanity” and the violent storms throughout the nation damaging houses, cities, fisheries, wildlife, every part our nation holds expensive. So, with renewable power, weatherization, effectivity, various heating sources, and a concentrate on resiliency, we now have put Maine on a path in the direction of carbon neutrality, with a plan to guard our valuable farms, shorelands and cities from the ravages of local weather change.

New Hampshire

Some say Governor Sununu’s January 5 inaugural address sought a nationwide viewers as a lot as a Granite State viewers (if that is true, he dissed three states providing a mixed Electoral Faculty depend of 95 votes to the subsequent profitable presidential candidate ought to Sununu determine to run):

In relation to power coverage we can not comply with the examples of states like Massachusetts, California, or New York.

The governor’s rhetorical flourish is at odds with coverage and motion:

In relation to options to the power disaster—we will need to have the braveness to take politics out of the equation.

Long run renewable “choices” mix with brief time period reactions to client prices:

We elevated investments into our present electrical energy and gasoline help packages.

…  along with these new investments, we proceed to discover long run choices reminiscent of offshore wind, extra hydropower out of Canada, and increasing renewable photo voltaic tasks particularly for our low-income households and municipalities.

Phrases matter when coming from a chief coverage maker. Governor Sununu used the phrase, ‘possibility’, not ‘resolution’, when itemizing renewable power sources. One is permitted to imagine this intentional selection displays Governor Sununu’s opinion that local weather change isn’t an issue that requires options. Certainly, he included in his 2023 inaugural address his 2019 opposition to a framework to scale back carbon air pollution within the transportation sector, concluding:

And my veto pen has loads of ink and can at all times be prepared to guard our residents from that form of nonsense.


Maura Healey is New England’s new governor (all of the others are reelected). Healey’s inaugural address January 5 was flush with the significance of great local weather motion and the financial alternatives offered by clear power.

Now we should commit ourselves to cherishing and defending our shared future—and assembly the local weather disaster.

Let me be clear about this. The place others may even see hopelessness and resignation, I see
unparalleled alternative. We will defend our local weather and create jobs. It’s not too late to do both. It’s pressing that we do each. And I consider Massachusetts can lead the world.

Not like the speeches of her friends, Healey used her inaugural tackle to supply particular commitments:

  • double offshore wind and photo voltaic targets
  • quadruple power storage deployment
  • electrify the general public fleet, and put one million electrical automobiles on the highway by 2030
  • dedicate not less than 1% of the state funds to environmental and power businesses.
  • triple the funds of the Clear Vitality Middle
  • create a Inexperienced Financial institution to foster funding in resilient infrastructure and appeal to new companies to Massachusetts.

Borrego Photo voltaic set up at 976 Russells Mills Dartmouth, MA. (Picture By: Greg M. Cooper / Borrego Photo voltaic)


Let’s commit to creating local weather innovation our subsequent huge funding, our subsequent first, our subsequent frontier.


We will see from Governor Phil Scott’s January 4 address an acknowledgement of working throughout the aisle:

…local weather change…is an space the place we share targets however might disagree on the right way to get there. Nonetheless, we’ve confirmed we will work collectively, devoting practically a quarter-billion-dollars during the last two years. That is funding good work to scale back emissions, revitalize outdated houses, decrease power payments, enhance well being, and defend communities from flooding…let’s proceed to construct the inspiration that may make it doable and sensible for Vermonters to make this transition, so we will meet our local weather targets.

This yr, inauguration is a springboard to legacy.

The governors of Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts serve four-year phrases and can exit greater than half-way to the 2030 deadline. Vermont and New Hampshire governors serve two-year phrases.

In December the Biden Administration launched a clear power and local weather motion highway map for state and native governments:

Building a Clean Energy Economy: A Guidebook to the Inflation Reduction Act’s Investments in Clean Energy and Climate Action is greater than a highway map for governors—it’s a treasure map.  How so? States are eligible for direct funds to pay for clear power and clear electrical energy tasks and for the greenhouse gasoline discount fund, and for industrial/heavy obligation vans and automobilesthese are new and big alternatives for state local weather motion by way of leveraging federal sources.

Certainly one of Johanna Chao Kreilick’s takeaways from COP 27 is that it’s as much as every of us to make the long run we wish to see. We now have private selections to make, we now have neighborhood obligationstogether with holding our governors accountable. To not aggressively reap the benefits of the local weather and power provisions and sources offered by Congress is irresponsible. All governors’ legacies will rely on how they tackle and handle the sophisticated points surrounding clear power and a altering local weather on behalf of their constituents.

Initially revealed by Union of Concerned Scientists, The Equation. By  Roger Stephenson.




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