Progress in 2014 toward GWSA Goal for 2020

Text version of the above graph

The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), signed in August of 2008, created a framework for reducing heat-trapping emissions to levels that scientists believe give us a reasonable chance of avoiding the worst effects of global warming. It requires reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from each sector of the economy summing to a total reduction of 25% below the 1990 baseline emission level in 2020 and at least an 80% reduction in 2050. This dashboard offers insights into the Commonwealth’s progress towards the goals of the GWSA.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection estimates GHG emissions in the Commonwealth using the U.S. EPA’s State GHG Inventory Tool and other estimates, and regularly publishes the Massachusetts GHG Inventory to allow emissions monitoring and analysis of emission trends. Recently available data indicate that 2014 GHG emissions in the state were 21% below the 1990 baseline level.  This was significantly below the GHG emissions projected in the “Business As Usual (BAU)” pdf format of Statewide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Update
scenario, which estimates what emissions in 2009-2020 would be without implementing policies enabled by the GWSA. The decline in statewide GHG emissions is a result of GHG reduction policies and other factors, such as weather conditions, economic conditions, and relative fuel prices.  Click here to explore Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas emissions trends in detail. Text version of the above graph pdf format of massachusetts-ghg-emissions.pdf
 

Massachusetts is leading the way to a clean energy economy, reaping direct benefits in economic growth, through the development and implementation of smart, targeted policies that reduce emissions by promoting greater energy efficiency, developing renewable energy, shifting travel patterns, and encouraging cleaner alternatives to the combustion of fossil fuels. Text version of the above graph pdf format of cleaner-air-and-a-growing-economy.pdf

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs—in accordance with GWSA requirements—published the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 ("2020 Plan") in 2010 and the update to the 2020 Plan pdf format of MA Updated Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020
file size 2MB in 2015 that outlined a comprehensive suite of GHG reduction policies designed to meet the emission reduction limit for 2020 if fully implemented.  The GHG reduction policies are grouped into five sectors:

Full implementation of these policies is projected to result in a total net reduction of 25.0 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e), or 26.4% below the 1990 baseline level. However, the actual amount of GHG reductions attributable to policies depends on many factors, such as passage of legislation to enable policy implementation as assumed in the updated 2020 Plan. Other factors - including weather patterns, economic conditions, and relative fuel prices - also influence GHG emissions in Massachusetts.

Implementation of the portfolio of policies in the Updated 2020 Plan is underway across five major policy sectors. Reductions in GHG emissions from policy implementation are estimated and reported for each sector. Click below for information on reductions in GHG emissions by policy sector.

Progress reporting for each sector includes quantitative data on GHG reductions (where available), as well as qualitative information on the status of policy implementation. The GHG emissions reduction data are preliminary and not intended to represent the total achievements to date.  Please note that GHG reduction data are not yet available for all policies; this is, in part, because some policies are at an early stage of implementation or are due to be phased in slowly over time, and, in part, because of the challenges in measuring and attributing GHG reductions to certain policies. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is continuing data acquisition and analysis, and will be updating this dashboard regularly as new data become available.