Boston — In a landmark decision, the Boston City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday, December 6, in favor of a municipal resolution supporting a pending bill in the MA legislature. The resolution was introduced by Boston City Councilors Kendra Lara and Sharon Durkan in support of bill S.481/H.872, An Act Establishing a Climate Change Superfund and Promoting Polluter Responsibility, which would raise $75 billion over the next 25 years from top greenhouse gas polluters.

The proposed legislation, cosponsored by Senator Eldridge and Representative Owens, seeks to create a superfund sourced from the profits of the largest fossil fuel companies. These funds would be used to support climate change adaptation projects across the state, addressing the mounting costs of building climate resilience, with 40% of the funding designated for projects directly benefiting environmental justice communities. The bill also includes robust language safeguarding workers' rights and encouraging the utilization of apprenticeship programs.

The Boston City Council Municipal Resolution sends a resounding message about the urgency of the escalating costs of climate change. Successful implementation of this legislation would significantly benefit Boston, specifically funding the mitigation of waterfront flooding, extreme heat, and air pollution.

As fossil fuel corporations continue to amass record profits, the burden of climate change on taxpayers becomes increasingly evident. Recent polling indicates that 77% of Americans believe that big oil and gas companies bear "a lot" or "some responsibility" to combat climate change.

City Councilor Kendra Lara said, “We live in a day and age where Greenhouse gasses are at levels higher than ever, where thousands of species face extinction, and we stare at the face of the hottest decade ever recorded in the past 125,000 years. The crisis of climate change has been an unfortunate reality for years now. Although we’ve gone above and beyond to promote personal responsibility, plastic bag bans, composting, and recycling, we haven’t done nearly enough to hold top polluters accountable.

 Bills  H.872 & S.481, “an act establishing a climate change superfund and promoting polluter responsibility,” would require top polluters to contribute to a superfund used to pay for climate-related damages in Massachusetts.”

City Councilor Shannon Durkan said, “This law is simple — those who make the mess should be the ones to clean it up. By imposing fees on the largest emitters we can direct resources to a climate resiliency super-fund, a successful model already used by the EPA. Other States have already gone to these lengths; our Commonwealth should do the same. If we are going to get serious about ensuring a livable future, and holding polluters accountable, the passage of this law needs to be a top priority.”

350 Mass Member Bob Tumposky said, “As a long time Roslindale resident who knows the need for funding for climate resilience and adaptation, I’m a strong supporter of the Polluters Pay Resolution that was passed by the City Council today.”

This groundbreaking resolution reflects Boston's commitment to proactive climate action and sets a precedent for other municipalities to follow suit. The City Council's unanimous support underscores the broad consensus on the need for corporate accountability in addressing the costs of the climate crisis.

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