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Massachusetts a no-show at climate talks

Unlike other states, Massachusetts didn’t send an official delegation to last week’s climate summit in Paris, which attracted thousands of local, regional, and federal leaders from around the world.

States that sent delegations included California, Illinois, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington. Official representatives from Boston attended as well.

Officials from the Baker administration declined to answer questions about why they chose not to send anyone to the talks, which resulted in a landmark agreement among nations around the world to curb carbon emissions.

Instead, they sent a statement:

“The Baker-Polito administration is committed to ensuring Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in addressing climate change … and is acting to cut carbon emissions through various efforts, including Governor Baker’s legislation to bring, affordable, renewable energy to the Commonwealth,” said Peter Lorenz, a spokesman for the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in an e-mail.


The state also had not signed a memo of understanding in support of lower carbon emissions that was endorsed by other states, provinces, and regions around the world until last Friday – after the Globe asked why the state had not signed the memo. Lorenz said the administration decided to sign the memo before the Globe had asked about it.

Environmental advocates noted that Massachusetts was represented by nongovernmental organizations from the state, including Harvard, MIT, Boston University, and the University of Massachusetts.

Among those who attended the summit was Bradley M. Campbell, president of the Conservation Law Foundation.

“It was disappointing that the governor didn’t send a delegation,” he said, noting that the state isn’t on track to meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

(This story has been updated to include an administration comment on the timing of signing the memo of understanding.)


David Abel can be reached at dabel@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @davabel.