Portuguese American Journal

Terceira: Senator Marc Pacheco on a mission to save the planet – Azores

Senator Marc Pacheco, Democrat of Massachusetts, visited Angra do Heroísmo on Terceira Island in the Azores, where he met with regional authorities and officially launched the Transatlantic Climate Alliance initiative.

The founding president and executive director of the Alliance, Senator Pacheco highlighted the climate change crisis and stressed the urgent need for collaborative solutions.

The initiative, inspired by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, aims to unite local authorities from Iceland, across both sides of the Atlantic, in a bid to implement ambitious climate action by sharing best practices.

The choice of Terceira Island for the launch event is significant due to the longstanding partnership with Angra do Heroísmo’s mayor, Álamo Meneses, and Praia da Vitória’s mayor, Vânia Ferreira, both founding members of the Alliance.

During the event, Senator Pacheco, of Azorean heritage, articulated a vision of starting symbolically in the mid-Atlantic to inspire and mobilize the broader transatlantic action against climate change.

“We want to create a movement that will help transform action at the regional and local level because we need more and faster action to save not only the planet but ourselves,” said Senator Pacheco.

The newly formed non-governmental organization is set to focus on “The How” of climate action to develop best practices to accelerate the adoption of clean energy, promote green jobs, and implement climate adaptation and mitigation strategies at the subnational level.

Moreover, the organization will facilitate swift information exchange among experts across various fields including science, technology, finance, manufacturing, infrastructure, labor, policy, government, education, and training.

Among the entities that have joined the initiative are the New England Clean Energy Council, which represents clean energy companies in the Northeast United States, and Leading Cities, which integrates more than 600 cities worldwide. The Northern Regional Coordination and Development Commission and the Cascais City Council have also become members in mainland Portugal.

This launch in Terceira marks the beginning of a series of planned launches across several cities by the end of the year. The next major event is scheduled in Vienna, Austria, where a board member and MP have been advocating for clean energy policies. This expansion reflects the Alliance’s commitment to fostering a movement that can expedite local actions to address the climate crisis more effectively.

“We want to start here, in a symbolic way, to send the message, from the mid-Atlantic to the whole transatlantic area, that we need to work together at the local and regional level to implement ambitious climate action and best practices,” said Senator Pacheco.

The Transatlantic Climate Alliance is a non-governmental organization that fosters subnational collaboration through its Transatlantic Climate Council to help leaders implement decarbonization pathways, transition to a sustainable future, and prevent the worst effects of our global climate crisis.

Senator Marc Pacheco a Democratic senator with Azorean heritage from São Miguel, has dedicated his career to environmental and energy issues. Currently serving as the chair of the Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference’s Energy and Environment Committee, and as Co-Chair of the Portuguese American Legislative Caucus of Massachusetts, he continues to champion initiatives that aim to save the planet and humanity from the adverse effects of climate change.

The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.

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