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At First Congressional Hearing On Climate Change In Nearly A Decade, MA Gov. Urges Lawmakers To Do More

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Governor Charlie Baker told federal lawmakers Wednesday climate change is already taking a toll on his state.

During a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., Baker testified that climate change is affecting industries that depend on winter weather for revenue, like skiing.

"Local businesses like Berkshire East have adapted to these challenges by diversifying their business to include non-winter activities, which now account for 60 percent of the mountain’s revenue," he said.

Baker also mentioned the cod and lobster fisheries are changing, as warming waters are causing fish to move north.  

"It’s a very big problem and it’s one that you don’t have to project out," Baker said. "It’s already happening and it’s there and you can see it in the data and you can see it when you talk to any of the folks who are part of those fishing communities."

 Baker said communities need more federal support to better-withstand the effects of climate change.

He used a Massachusetts program called Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness as an example. 

"Many federal initiatives are only available after a disaster occurs," Baker said. "Incentives similar to our MVP program would help communities address resiliency issues before the next disaster."

Bakers added the government should follow Massachusetts' lead and set federal greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

"In our state’s experience, setting an aggressive target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions provides the foundation for clean energy policy, sends a clear message to industry and enables long-range planning," he said.

He also pushed for more investment in climate change research, expanding programs to modernize infrastructure, and for lawmakers to consider the risks of climate change when planning future spending. 

At First Congressional Hearing On Climate Change In Nearly A Decade, MA Gov. Urges Lawmakers To Do More
At First Congressional Hearing On Climate Change In Nearly A Decade, MA Gov. Urges Lawmakers To Do More