Want To Donate To U.N.? Bill Calls for Climate-Change Option on Massachusetts Tax Returns

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2019/07/10/want-to-donate-to-u-n-bill-calls-for-climate-change-option-on-massachusetts-tax-returns/

Massachusetts tax returns ought to give residents a way to donate money to the United Nations to encourage third-world countries to fight climate change, environmental activists told state legislators.

The measure (Massachusetts Senate Bill 1602 and Massachusetts House Bill 2414) would establish a “Massachusetts Fund for Vulnerable Countries Most Affected by Climate Change … to further the mission of the United Nations Least Developed Countries Fund, … established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to help under-developed nations adapt to climate change,” according to the text of the bills.

A supporter of the idea, which has no similar examples elsewhere, sees Massachusetts as a beachhead.

“We’re trying to succeed here and then export it,” said Jesse Young, a senior adviser with Oxfam America, during a hearing of the Joint Committee on Revenue of the Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday, July 10, according to State House News Service.

Another supporter sees only pluses.

“There’s no cost to the state. There’s kind of no downside and the impact is limitless,” said Larry Yu, co-chairman of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project in Boston, according to State House News Service.

The state Senate version has five sponsors. The lead sponsor is state Senator Michael Barrett (D-Lexington).

The state House of Representatives version has seven sponsors. The lead sponsors are state Representative Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford) and state Representative Tram Nguyen (D-Andover.)

Nguyen is a first-term legislator who in November 2018 defeated former state representative Jim Lyons, an Andover Republican who is now chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party.