Kate Dineen, Executive Vice President, A Better City
June 18, 2019
On behalf of Rick Dimino, President & CEO of A Better City and the 131-member ABC Board, I thank you for the opportunity to testify on GreenWorks. I’m Kate Dineen, Executive Vice President of ABC. Prior to joining ABC in May 2019, I served in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office for nearly six years—first as the Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, then as the Governor’s Assistant Secretary for the Environment, and most recently as Chief of Staff for State Operations. In these various roles, I garnered significant expertise in climate resilience as the state endeavored to build back better in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Since its inception in 1989, A Better City has fought to enhance the Boston region’s economic competitiveness, growth, and livability by developing solutions in three critical areas: transportation, land use, and energy and the environment. Since 2006, ABC has been working with member buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the last five years, ABC has also been helping members plan for and adapt to the impacts of climate change. ABC leads the Green Ribbon Commission’s Commercial Real Estate Working Group and has participated in the last two Climate Action Plan updates for the City of Boston.
On behalf of ABC, I thank Speaker DeLeo and Representative Golden for proposing a legislative package that supports an array of vital initiatives to help the Commonwealth pursue both mitigation and adaptation strategies in parallel. Developing municipal microgrids, electrifying municipal and regional transit authority fleets, establishing municipal sustainability coordinators, and providing funds for municipal resilience projects are all critical steps toward realizing a greener, more resilient future. We appreciate the articulation of a wide range of climate issues as discussed in the GreenWorks bill and applaud Speaker DeLeo and Representatives Golden’s leadership.
ABC has examined the issues of climate change and resiliency within Greater Boston extensively, and although $1.3 billion over 10 years is an important investment, it’s just a down payment on the extensive work that needs to be done to protect the Commonwealth. While advancing a bond bill specifically designed to tackle climate resilience is a fantastic start, we can, and we must do more.
That is why ABC is leading the business community’s call for the creation of a Climate Resilience Commission. This Commission would develop a long-term strategic vision for the governance, finance, and implementation of infrastructure investments in the Commonwealth. We join a diverse coalition of stakeholders from The Boston Foundation, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Green Ribbon Commission, Boston Harbor Now, and others in calling for the establishment of this Commission. As past leaders have done with the creation of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and the Massachusetts School Building Authority, we must confront this crisis head on—and develop a thoughtful, comprehensive solution to ensure that the Commonwealth continues to thrive in the face of unprecedented challenges. The necessary investments required to tackle climate resilience in the Boston area will require broad-scale and diversified funding streams, far greater than one single revenue stream alone.
We look forward to working with Speaker DeLeo, Representative Golden, and other climate leaders in the State House to ensure that the Commonwealth is protected and resilient in the face of climate change. Thank you for your time.