Walsh announces Regional Summit on Climate Change

Walsh announces Regional Summit on Climate Change

A regional summit on climate change was announced on Wednesday by Mayor Martin J. Walsh on the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

According to Walsh, rising sea levels and powerful storms pose a serious threat.

At the University of Massachusetts Boston, the summit will be held next spring and will coordinate a regional approach to climate change, representing a number of agencies and officials from Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, and other towns and cities.

According to scientists, sea levels could rise one to two feet by 2050, and three to six feet by 2100, threatening coastal areas.

Brian Swett, Boston's chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, explained Hurricane Sandy as a 'near-miss' and said that the region has since stayed away from the worst of various other severe storms.

Swett said that this problem is only going to be aggravated and they need to ensure that people are ready for storms they have never faced.

Hurricane Sandy, the biggest Atlantic storm on record killed 73 people, destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, and caused billions in damage.

According to a 2013 city report "Climate Ready Boston: Municipal Vulnerability to Climate Change", there is possibility that sea-level rise in Boston to be above average because the city's land mass is sinking about six inches each century.

Walsh said talking about climate change should be a main concern and promised to make preparations a 'Greater Boston success story.'

"I believe climate change is not a burden we take on, but an opportunity we embrace", said Walsh.

Marc Draisen, who directs the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, said that they have a big job to deal with and if they try to tackle it alone, they will not get success.

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