Masslive: State representative Honan & youth leader support bold climate action

Representative Kevin Honan (D-17th Suffolk) is the state representative from Allston-Brighton as well as the House Chair of the Housing Committee. Representative Honan has co-sponsored a number of his colleagues’ pending pieces of legislation that address the climate concerns facing our present and future generations.

Massachusetts is already feeling the effects of climate change— from hotter summers to inland flooding. As temperatures continue to rise, storms will become more intense and more frequent. Sea levels will continue to rise, putting coastal communities at risk. Even the increase in cases of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and other insect-borne illnesses we have witnessed over the past few weeks can be attributed to warmer temperatures and changing precipitation patterns. These effects will be felt drastically on the local level as public health officials will have larger resource burdens to address the wide range of potential health impacts from climate change.

Younger generations have continued to signal this is a policy priority through their strong advocacy efforts. I applaud the efforts of Our Climate and their commitment to being catalysts for change. It is up to us to put polices in place now that will prepare us for the effects of climate change in the future.

Greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere are the primary cause for our changing climate. This is why I am a proud co-sponsor on H.2810, An Act to promote green infrastructure and reduce carbon emissions. This bill creates incentives for all energy users to transition to cleaner options by penalizing fossil fuel suppliers for pollution they emit. The revenues generated from this fee will be returned to houses and businesses across the Commonwealth, with an emphasis on protecting low and moderate income and rural households.

Every Massachusetts citizen has the right to live in a clean and healthy environment, which is why environmental justice is such an important component of the climate change discussion. I proudly support H. 761, An Act relative to environmental justice and toxics reduction in the Commonwealth, H.2843, An Act removing barriers to solar for low-income communities, and H. 2852, An act for community empowerment, to ensure all Massachusetts communities have meaningful input in the implementation and enforcement of environmental policy.

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