WHOI Director Susan Avery appointed co-chair of MA Climate Advisory Committee

Group will advise on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate development of green jobs

The chief executive of Millipore Corp. and director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will serve as co-chairs of the Climate Protection and Green Economy Advisory Committee created under the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles said today. The Advisory Committee is charged with advising the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Act.

susan_averySusan Avery, Director and President of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Photo courtesy of WHOI.

The two co-chairs are Susan Avery, Ph.D., an atmospheric physicist who is president and director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the world’s largest private, nonprofit ocean research, engineering and education organization; and Martin Madaus, Ph.D., president and CEO of Millipore Corp., a leading life sciences company headquartered in Billerica. The first meeting of the advisory committee is scheduled for May 11.

“Global climate change is the environmental challenge of our time, but it’s also an opportunity for Massachusetts to capitalize on the transition to a clean energy economy for jobs and economic growth,” said Secretary Bowles. “The Climate Protection and Green Economic Advisory Committee has an important role to play, helping my office identify the lowest-cost, most job-creating measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and I can think of no one better to lead this committee than Susan Avery and Martin Madaus.”

“In conjunction with the Legislature, Governor Patrick has set aggressive but important greenhouse gas reduction targets for Massachusetts,” said Madaus. “I look forward to working with the Governor as well as the business community and citizenry to help meet those goals. The ultimate goal, however, is to limit the negative consequences of manmade greenhouse gas emissions on our climate, securing the future for our children and grandchildren.”

“I am delighted to serve as co-chair of the Climate Protection andGreen Economy Advisory Committee,” said Avery. “Under the leadership ofGovernor Deval Patrick, Massachusetts is among the leading states inresponding to climate change. With the proper economic incentives andwise investments in energy research, I have every confidence that wecan adopt prudent measures to reduce carbon dioxide levels in ouratmosphere, protect our environmental patrimony, and sustain oureconomic well-being.”

“I am delighted to serve as co-chair of the Climate Protection and Green Economy Advisory Committee,” said Avery. “Under the leadership of Governor Deval Patrick, Massachusetts is among the leading states in responding to climate change. With the proper economic incentives and wise investments in energy research, I have every confidence that we can adopt prudent measures to reduce carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere, protect our environmental patrimony, and sustain our economic well-being.” 

Signed by Governor Deval Patrick in August, the Global Warming Solutions Act gave Massachusetts one of the most ambitious regulatory programs to address climate change in the country.  The Act requires an 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by 2050, and calls upon the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), in consultation with other state agencies and the public, to set a 2020 target between 10 and 25 percent below 1990 levels.

“The Commonwealth is taking the first steps required by the Act toward creating a nation-leading regulatory framework for reducing greenhouse gases,” said Laurie Burt, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). “We are now gearing up for a full public process to establish the 1990 baseline of greenhouse gas emissions, setting the starting line for achieving the goals of the Act.” 

“The year 2008 was a landmark year for environmental and energy policy,” said Senator Marc R. Pacheco, chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. “The passage of the Global Warming Act established strong goals to cap and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Commonwealth. With these two appointments to the advisory committee, the state is moving in the right direction to combat climate change.”

“Climate change is the single most pressing environmental problem facing Massachusetts and our planet,” said Representative Frank Smizik, chairman of the House Committee on Climate Change. “I am pleased to hear that the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is beginning to implement the Global Warming Solutions Act.  This process will determine the Commonwealth’s climate policy for the next generation and I look forward to working with the panel as they undertake their important charge.”

As mandated by the Act, the Climate Protection and Green Economy Advisory Committee includes members representing the following sectors: commercial, industrial and manufacturing; transportation; low-income consumers; energy generation and distribution; environmental protection; energy efficiency and renewable energy; local government; and academic institutions. Additional appointments are pending, but those members announced today are:

Commercial, industrial and manufacturing

  • Martin Aikens, Business Agent, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • John F. Fish, President and CEO, Suffolk Construction
  • Una S. Ryan, President and CEO, Waltham Technologies, Inc.
  • Roger Berkowitz, President and CEO, Legal Sea Foods, Inc.

Transportation

  • Grace Chang, Vice President of Quality, A123 Systems
  • Laura Scott, Director of Business Development & Biofuels, Gulf Oil

Low-income consumers

  • Charlie Harak, Senior Attorney, National Consumer Law Center
  • Penn Loh, Tufts University; consultant, Alternatives for Community and Environment     

Energy generation and distribution

  • Tom King, Executive Director, National Grid
  • Paul Levy, Board of Directors, ISO New England
  • Tom May, President and CEO, NSTAR

Environmental protection

  • Kevin Knobloch, President, Union of Concerned Scientists [invited]
  • William Coleman, Interim President, Conservation Law Foundation; CEO, CLF Ventures
  • Berl Hartman, E2 – Environmental Entrepreneurs
  • Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres

Energy efficiency and renewable energy

  • Paul Gaynor, President and CEO, First Wind  
  • Carmichael Roberts, Vice Chairman, Nano-Terra
  • Hemant Taneja, Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners

Local government

  • Mayor James Ruberto, Pittsfield
  • Mayor Nancy Stevens, Marlborough
  • Mayor Lisa Wong, Fitchburg  
  • Timothy Brennan, Executive Director, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

A second advisory committee created by the Act, on strategies for adapting to the predicted impacts of climate change on the Commonwealth, will be appointed later this spring.

Release courtesy of EEA.

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