In February, more than 100 students, pensioners, and community leaders gathered at the State House in support of fossil fuel divestment as part of coordinated actions on Global Divestment Day.
In April, as members of the Massachusetts Campaign for a Clean Energy Future, Better Future Project and 350 Mass helped host a delegation from British Columbia who visited to talk to state lawmakers about the success of British Columbia’s carbon pricing scheme. In the months since, we’ve held house parties and community forums all over the state, educating hundreds of people about the groundbreaking campaign to put a price on carbon emissions in Massachusetts.
- In June, teachers, students, and retired public sector employees packed a State House hearing on divestment.
In July, we worked with SEIU 509 and the Massachusetts Nurses Association to deliver a letter to the Massachusetts pension board calling on them to address the financial risks of continued investment in fossil fuels, earning coverage from The Boston Globe, State House News and other outlets.
- Throughout the year, we worked to oppose new fossil fuel infrastructure across Massachusetts. 350 Mass volunteers packed public hearings, organized rallies and vigils, and educated their communities. In July, for instance, volunteers from 350 Massachusetts for a Better Future (350 Mass) joined some 250 activists to form a human chain at the Dedham-Boston line in opposition to Spectra’s West Roxbury Lateral natural gas pipeline project.
In September, 350 Mass and Better Future Project participated as founding members in the launch of the Mass Power Forward coalition, which brings together more than 100 groups—from grassroots climate groups to socially responsible businesses—to fight for clean energy in the state.
September also saw the Boston Teachers Union, which represents more than 10,000 teachers, endorse divestment, adding their support to that of the Massachusetts Nurses Association and SEIU Locals 509 and 888. We also worked with Trillium Asset Management and others to release a report showing that the state pension fund lost more than $500 million over the last year on oil, coal and gas investments.
In September and October, 350 Mass helped pack the State House for multiple hearings on gas leaks, carbon pricing, and Massachusetts’ clean energy future.
Throughout the fall, we collected 500 petition signatures for the Raise Up Mass coalition’s campaign for a progressive, fair-share income tax (the only climate or environmental organization to do so).
- We are very excited to be working with 350 organizations across New England, as well as labor and immigration allies, to plan the Jobs, Justice, and Climate rally on December 12th. We are hoping for the largest turnout to a New England climate rally in recent memory as we stand with allies to call for climate solutions that create secure, well-paying, union jobs and enhance the resiliency of our communities. We hope to see you there!
In 2016, we plan to build on our momentum with the expansion of 350 Mass. The statewide volunteer network currently boasts ten nodes across the state, including two new nodes that have launched in just the last few months. Over the course of 2016, we will continue growing the 350 Mass network to meet the immense interest from Massachusetts residents who want to take action on climate change.
Although the members of 350 Mass may choose to adjust campaign priorities in 2016, we anticipate continuing to work on the Carbon Pricing, State Divestment, and Renewable Mass campaigns. Organizers and volunteers are planning a strategy session for early 2016 to evaluate campaigns and determine goals that will advance Massachusetts on the path to a clean energy future. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with you!
Thank You for a Great Year!