Progress toward 2020 GHG Emissions Reduction Goal
Please note that the data presented in the graph above are intended to show the benefits associated with implementing these cross-cutting strategies and that the emission reductions are not additive (since they may overlap with each other and with other strategies in the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, referred to as “2020 Plan”). These data are not included in the overall calculations of GHG emission reductions from implementation of the 2020 Plan in order to avoid double-counting. As the 2020 Plan assumed, emission reductions resulting from MEPA review, Leading By Example, and Green Communities get captured in the calculations of emission reductions associated with other strategies, for example Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), All Cost-Effective Energy Efficiency, and Advanced Building Energy Codes. The cross-cutting policies are supportive of other strategies in the 2020 Plan.
Since June 2010, 123 Massachusetts municipalities of all sizes and socio-economic types have become designated Green Communities. About a third of all municipalities are now Green Communities, representing 45% of the state’s population. The commitment of these 123 communities to reduce energy consumption 20% over five years is roughly equal to the annual energy consumption of over 13,600 homes and, in GHG reduction terms, equivalent to taking nearly 31,000 cars off the road.
Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA)
The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act GHG Policy and Protocol was revised in November 2008 to apply to all projects that are required to prepare an Environmental Impact Report. It requires project proponents to conduct a thorough analysis of a project’s primary sources of GHG emissions and to examine all feasible alternatives that may have lower GHG emissions potential. Because MEPA review occurs early in project planning, it supports the identification of cost-effective mitigation measures. The chart identifies commitments to emissions reductions associated with projects that have completed the MEPA review process. Typical mitigation measures include energy efficient equipment, advanced project design and technology, transportation demand management and improved operations.
Leading by Example (LBE)
Executive Order 484, issued in 2007, set aggressive GHG emission reduction targets for state government, challenging the Commonwealth to “lead by example” by reducing state government emissions by 25% by 2012, 40% by 2020, and 80% by 2050. At the end of Fiscal Year 2012, GHG emissions at state government facilities dropped by 19% from the LBE baseline—equivalent to taking over 49,000 cars off the road. These significant reductions have been achieved despite increased square footage and number of buildings, as well as increased hours and enrollment at many state colleges and universities.
2020 Plan Strategies for GHG Emissions Reduction
|Strategy (with link to|
from the 2020 Plan)
|MEPA GHG Policy and Protocol||High||GHG analysis required for certain projects since 2007. Final revisions to MEPA GHG Emissions Policy and Protocol in effect May 5, 2013. These latest revisions take into account the changes to MEPA’s enabling statute under the Global Warming Solutions Act.|
|Leading by Example (goal is 40% below 2002 levels)||High||GHG emissions associated with state government operations have decreased every year since 2007. There has been steady growth in the installation of on-site renewable energy, and combined heat and power (CHP) facilities.|
|Green Communities||High||110 Green Communities in MA have committed to reduce energy consumption 20 percent over 5 years.|
|Consideration of GHG Emissions in State Permitting, Licensing, and Administrative Approvals||This strategy is being implemented in various ways. For example, GHG emissions are being considered and reduced through implementation of the MEPA GHG Policy and Protocol, the Leading By Example program, and Green Communities program described above. In addition, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs continues to investigate other measures such as leveraging its authority and the jurisdiction of its agencies where opportunities exist to affect reductions in GHG emissions, in select agency actions.|
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