President, New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund
What a simply amazing experience I had with #ABLinDenmark last week. Not only did I get to spend time with phenomenal leaders from Boston but was afforded the privilege of deep learning about the critical importance of climate justice and our ability to catch up here in MA on getting to a zero carbon footprint. Within 6 intense (and superbly designed!) days we visited the Port of Esbjerg where a full city of industry has been built to support the expansion of wind farms across the country. We had presentations from “State of Green”, a briefing from the U.S Ambassador, a boat visit to Middelgrunden Offshore Wind Farm and a tour of Copenhill for skiing and trash recycling all-in-one mountain! So many other fantastic moments including the Reffen Street Food Market, a visit to the Village of Ribe, a virtual tour of Samso Energy Island (totally energy self-sufficient) and of course- dinner and fun at Tivoli Gardens where Walt got his inspiration for Disney! Thank you to the Barr Foundation for making the trip possible.
Now we are back in MA and the question is what next? I encourage everyone to read the article linked below from the BBJ “Windfall: Offshore wind developers are pledging millions in local investments”.
We learned in Copenhagen from our Danish friends and from our local colleagues, is that Massachusetts is proactively planning long-term clean energy goals, including multiple pathways to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 — all of them including at least 15 gigawatts of electricity from offshore wind. Already planted in the cape, next up for wind farm locations are New Bedford and Salem. Thousands of jobs are coming to make sure our wind can turn into clean energy – saving MA from a slow burn and ensuring our generations to come have a chance at living in a city and state where we are safe from harmful carbon emissions. And who will get us there? What are the types of job that will emerge and who will be in them?
MayflowerWind says their investment will consider upwards of $2.5 million to ensure diversity and inclusion goals are met and joining them are Vineyard Wind and Commonwealth Wind, the state’s other upcoming offshore wind projects “committing tens of millions of dollars” to ensure our Black and Brown residents are first in line for these roles.
My 6 days in Copenhagen, Denmark will stay with me for a lifetime but the urgency of making sure we have instructional supports in place to require the commitment to racial equity is truly represented in the thousands of jobs coming on line, is my most present focus. Join me and my travel-mates from the #ABLDenmark delegation as we work together with the wind industry to make this come true.