Massachusetts EO 569: Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth

Massachusetts Executive Order 569, "Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth," directs executive agencies to develop and implement a statewide Climate Adaptation Plan, and to build a framework for each state agency and municipality in Massachusetts to assess their vulnerability to climate change. Section 3 of the Order states that the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Secretary of Public Safety are to coordinate efforts across the Commonwealth to strengthen the resilience of communities, prepare for the impacts of climate change, and to prepare for and mitigate damage from extreme weather events.

The Order directs the Executive Offices of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Public Safety and Security to lead the development and implementation of a statewide comprehensive climate adaptation plan that will provide a blueprint for protecting the built and natural environment of the Commonwealth, based on the best available data on existing and projected climate change impacts. Building on the findings from the state’s 2011 Climate Change Adaptation Reportthe new Climate Adaptation Plan is to include a statewide adaptation strategy incorporating:

  1. observed and projected climate trends based on the best available data, including but not limited to, extreme weather events, drought, coastal and inland flooding, sea level rise and increased storm surge, wildfire, and extreme temperatures;
  2. guidance and strategies for state agencies and authorities, municipalities and regional planning agencies to proactively address these impacts through adaptation and resiliency measures, including guidance regarding changes to plans, by-laws, regulations, and policies;
  3. clear goals, expected outcomes, and a path to achieving results;
  4. approaches for the Commonwealth to lead by example to increase the resiliency of Government operations;
  5. policies and strategies for ensuring that adaptation and resiliency efforts complement efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute towards the Commonwealth meeting the statewide emission limits established pursuant to the GWSA; and
  6. strategies that conserve and sustainably employ the natural resources of the Commonwealth to enhance climate adaptation, build resilience and mitigate climate change.

The Executive Offices also must establish a framework for each City and Town in the Commonwealth to assess its vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events, and to identify adaptation options for its assets; as well as provide technical assistance to the municipalities to complete the assessments, and begin implementation of adaptation strategies.

In addition, each Executive Office is to establish a framework to assess its and its agencies’ own vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events, and to identify adaptation options for its and its agencies’ assets.

Also, each Executive Office within the Baker-Polito Administration will be required to designate a Climate Change Coordinator who will work to complete a vulnerability assessment for each office, and assist with implementation and coordination of adaptation and mitigation efforts across state government.   

 

Regarding mitigation measures, the EO enforces collaboration across state government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency within government operations. The Order requires agencies to take action to reduce emissions in the transportation sector; establish a timeframe by August 2017 for implementation of Section 3d of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act to achieve the greenhouse gas emission reductions needed to meet the 2020 emissions reduction requirement; and to create a comprehensive state energy plan to account for the GHG emission reductions needed to meet the GWSA requirements.

 

Publication Date: September 16, 2016

Related Organizations:

  • State of Massachusetts

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