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Walsh unveils plan to boost ‘green’ jobs, mitigate climate change

One day after a local environmental group called on the two mayoral candidates to release comprehensive environmental plans, state Representative Martin J. Walsh rolled out proposals on how he would better position the city to deal with the fallout from climate change and foster a greener economy.

“We need to do our part to mitigate the effects of climate change and to increase our ability to confront and survive those changes, such as rising sea levels. A sustainable model for Boston must include clean energy technology and more efficient energy use,” Walsh said in a statement. “We need creative approaches to improve Boston’s air quality and save natural resources.”

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He also said he would push to increase recycling rates, shift Boston toward more renewable energy production, and seek more “green’’ jobs.

The plan was released one day after the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund called on the two mayoral candidates to release detailed plans to protect the city from extreme weather events linked to climate change, such as Hurricane Sandy.

According to the Boston Harbor Association, Sandy’s storm surge could have flooded more than 80 million square feet of the city if the superstorm had hit Boston just five and a half hours earlier at high tide. Many mayoral candidates noted during the preliminary race that it would have meant City Hall would have been largely under water.

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Included in Walsh’s plan are vows to:

-- Revise the Boston Climate Action Plan to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions

-- Create incentives for construction companies to retrofit vehicles

-- Ramp up anti-idling enforcement

-- Work with utility partners to increase the safety of natural gas distribution pipelines

-- Expand renewable energy opportunities – utilize wind, water and solar energy

The plan’s release capped off a week in which both campaigns rolled out significant policy proposals. Connolly unveiled plans for a Roxbury Entrepreneurship Center and a police pathway program based at Madison Park High School, while Walsh rolled out his arts plan and BRA plan.

Wesley Lowery can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.
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