Presidential candidate Weld visits Woodwell Climate for climate science briefing

Presidential candidate Weld visits Woodwell Climate

Presidential candidate speaks with Woodwell Climate staff during a campus visit.

Woodwell Climate Research Center (formerly Woods Hole Research Center) hosted William Weld, the former Massachusetts governor now seeking the Republican presidential nomination, for a climate science briefing on February 25. Weld also toured Woodwell Climate’s laboratory and fielded questions from Woodwell staff on his climate policy proposals.

Woodwell President Dr. Phil Duffy led the science briefing, detailing the warning lights flashing around rising carbon emissions, worsening deforestation, and thawing permafrost. Weld pressed for details on how fast melting Arctic ice will raise oceans, pointing to research that future flooding could create hundreds of millions of coastal refugees. He asked about the potential for carbon capture and storage of industrial emissions, as well as how improved agricultural practices can help store carbon in soils.

“I believe – as you do – that folks from across the political spectrum need to be working on climate,” Weld told Woodwell staff. An outdoorsman, Weld talked about his personal passion for the environment, as well as his administration’s progress on cleaning Boston Harbor and the Charles River. Weld said his climate priorities would include issuing an executive order declaring a climate emergency, creating a carbon tax, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, and incentivizing clean energy.

Woodwell Climate has offered informational meetings on our research to all presidential candidates. Gov. Weld is one of two candidates running for the Republican nomination for president and is the only one to take us up on our offer. So far, briefings have been conducted with staff from (withdrawn) Democratic candidates Tom Steyer, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

“Woodwell Climate is strictly non-partisan and does not endorse or oppose any candidates for political office. At the same time, it is a core part of our work to inform policy and we see this outreach as central to that mission,” said Woodwell Chief of External Affairs David McGlinchey.