Fernandes spearheads House approval of Paris climate agreement

Rep. Dylan Fernandes addresses the House of Representatives calling for support of his bill that would add Massachusetts to the Paris climate agreement. — Courtesy State House Broadcast S

In his first speech on the floor of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, on Nov. 1, state Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, whose district includes Martha’s Vineyard, called on his fellow House members to move the commonwealth toward joining the Paris climate agreement, and got them to do so in a 145-10 vote.

“Environmental degradation and sea-level rise brought on by climate change is threatening our delicate coastal communities,” he said in his speech. “That’s why I arise to speak today in support of this bill to join Massachusetts onto the Paris climate agreement. I filed this bill back in January in anticipation of President Trump pulling out of the agreement.”

Mr. Fernandes went on to say that Syria is the only other nation in the world not part of the agreement. Since the legislation passed, Mr. Fernandes told The Times, Syria adopted the Paris climate agreement, leaving America the sole outlier.

The bill will now move on to the Senate, and then to the governor’s desk. Mr. Fernandes said he anticipates the bill will clear the Senate and receive Gov. Baker’s signature. He said his office did a tremendous amount of preparatory work to arrive at the floor vote last week.

With a measure of pride, he said, “It is pretty much unheard-of for a freshman to pass major legislation in their first term,” and chalked it up as an important victory for the state and his district.