Skip to Content
The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 10: Preparation for impact of climate change and mitigation damage from extreme weather events; statewide adaptation strategy; vulnerability assessments; climate change coordinators

Section 10. (a) The secretary and the secretary of public safety and security shall coordinate efforts across the commonwealth to strengthen the resiliency of communities, prepare for the impacts of climate change and prepare for and mitigate damage from extreme weather events. The secretaries shall, every 5 years, publish a state plan that includes a statewide adaptation strategy incorporating: (i) observed and projected climate trends based on the best available data, including but not limited to, extreme weather events, drought, coastal and inland flooding, sea level rise and increased storm surge, wildfire and extreme temperatures; (ii) risk analysis and vulnerability assessment of: (A) key physical assets and functions of state government, municipalities and local economies; (B) natural resources; and (C) the built environment; provided, however, that the analysis and assessment shall include key findings from vulnerability assessments conducted pursuant to subsection (b); (iii) an evaluation of the commonwealth's capacity to respond and adapt to climate change impacts and opportunities; (iv) guidance and strategies for state agencies and authorities, municipalities and regional planning agencies to proactively address these impacts through adaptation and resiliency measures, including changes to plans, by-laws, regulations and policies; (v) clear goals, expected outcomes and a path to achieving results; (vi) approaches for the commonwealth to increase the resiliency of state government operations; (vii) policies and strategies for ensuring that adaptation and resiliency efforts complement and do not conflict with efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to meeting statewide emission limits, established pursuant to this chapter; and (viii) strategies that conserve and sustainably employ the natural resources of the commonwealth.

(b) The secretary and the secretary of public safety and security shall: (i) establish and maintain a framework for each executive office established under section 2 of chapter 6A to complete a vulnerability assessment for such office and each agency under the jurisdiction of such office to be incorporated into the state plan; (ii) establish and maintain a framework for each municipality in the commonwealth that chooses to complete a vulnerability assessment to incorporate the assessment, if the municipality so chooses, into the state plan; (iii) implement the state plan; and (iv) incorporate information learned from implementing the state plan in plan updates, including the experiences of executive offices, agencies, and municipalities in assessing and responding to climate change vulnerability.

(c) The secretary of each executive office established in section 2 of chapter 6A shall designate an employee to serve as the climate change coordinator of such office. Each climate change coordinator shall, under the leadership of the executive office of energy and environmental affairs and the executive office of public safety: (i) serve as such office's principal liaison regarding climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency efforts; (ii) assist in the development and implementation of the state plan; (iii) work with agencies under the jurisdiction of such office to complete vulnerability assessments for each agency and assist in incorporating these assessments into the state plan, on a schedule determined by the executive office of energy and environmental affairs and the executive office of public safety and security; and (iv) implement priority strategies and recommendations from the vulnerability assessment to moderate risk from climate change.