For Immediate Release - September 19, 2012

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION RECEIVES GRANT TO DEVELOP GROUNDBREAKING EVALUATION TOOL FOR GLOBAL WARMING INITIATIVES

Barr Foundation awards $230,000 for creation of system to monitor and communicate successes of Global Warming Solutions Act

BOSTON – Wednesday, September 19, 2012 – The Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) today announced a $230,000 grant from The Barr Foundation that will fund the development of a groundbreaking performance management tool for Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) initiatives.

“As we work to accomplish the most aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in the nation, it is essential that we clearly track our performance,” said EEA Secretary Rick Sullivan. “This new tool will allow us to assess and communicate our accomplishments and impact policy-making for generations to come. We are grateful to the Barr Foundation for its continued support of our clean energy and climate-related goals.”

The system, or dashboard, will track and communicate successes as Massachusetts implements the plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. Plans include a web-based scorecard to communicate the Commonwealth’s progress and a feedback mechanism to allow for input from stakeholders and the public.

“To hit these aggressive goals will take all hands on deck,” said Patricia Brandes, Barr Foundation Executive Director. “Without a system to monitor performance and make progress transparent, there is no way to know whether our collective efforts are aligned and adding up to the change that we seek.”

"I am thrilled about the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ acquisition of this grant from the Barr Foundation. The Barr Foundation has shown its continued dedication to improving the quality of the environment," said Senator Marc Pacheco. "This funding, which will help develop a monitoring program for the Global Warming Solutions Act, will go a long way toward implementing this nationally-recognized law as intended by the legislature.”

“I am pleased to hear that the Barr Foundation will provide funding to Massachusetts to help monitor state compliance with the environmental goals that the legislature set forth in the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008,” said Representative Frank Smizik. “It is critical for our state, and our country that Massachusetts demonstrates success in slowing down green house gas emissions and helps make this a safer planet.”

“When Massachusetts passed the GWSA in 2008, it allowed us to lead the nation. But reducing our carbon footprint economy-wide requires not only government action, but also leadership from business, labor, academics and advocates,” said Environmental League of Massachusetts President George Bachrach. “This Barr Foundation grant will allow the GWSA Implementation Advisory Committee to better track and communicate progress. We must all be held accountable for our participation in this critical effort.”

When completed, the system is expected to serve as a regional and national model that other states can adopt to analyze their efforts to reduce GHG emissions.

The GWSA, signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in 2008, requires EEA, in consultation with other state agencies and the public, to set economy-wide GHG emission reduction goals for Massachusetts that will achieve reductions of:

  • Between 10 percent and 25 percent below statewide 1990 GHG emission levels by 2020.
  • 80 percent below statewide 1990 GHG emission levels by 2050.

The GWSA offers a unique and historic opportunity for the Commonwealth to develop innovative solutions that will help prevent the devastating and costly negative effects of climate change while improving the quality of our environment and public health, save households and businesses money thru energy savings, create jobs, and spur economic development, especially thru our rapidly growing clean energy sector. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/eea/gwsa.

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