BOSTON — Today the State Senate voted to establish a comprehensive adaptation management plan in response to climate change.
The bill, filed by Senator Marc Pacheco of Taunton, requires Massachusetts to update every five years vulnerability studies to assess the impacts of climate change on the economy, public health and safety, infrastructure and natural resources.
It also requires the state to update every five years an action plan of the preparedness and vulnerabilities in the Commonwealth’s emergency response, energy, transportation, communications, health and other systems.
“As a coastal state, Massachusetts is particularly vulnerable to climate change, which — as we have already seen — is intensifying storms and hurricanes while also making them more frequent. We must take steps not only to prevent climate change when we can, but to adapt to its effects. Our emergency response teams, utility companies and local public works departments must be fully funded and fully prepared with action plans to protect our citizens from violent storms and recover from them successfully,” said Senator Lesser.
Climate change poses a major threat to Massachusetts’ economy and land resources. A 2013 study ranked Boston the eighth-highest metropolitan area worldwide in expected annual economic losses — $237 million — due to coastal flooding.
Massachusetts will also likely see an increase in coastal storms.
To deal with these intensified storms, the bill continues the administration of a grant program to provide technical assistance to communities to develop and implement their own action plans.