Patrick-Murray Administration Launches Innovative Communication Tool for Global Warming Initiatives
Dashboard shows Massachusetts Greenhouse Gas Emissions down 11 percent since 1990
BOSTON – Monday, April 22, 2013 – The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) today launched a new dashboard for Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) initiatives.
“As we celebrate Earth Day, it is appropriate to announce a practical tool that will help us gauge our success in protecting the environment,” EEA Secretary Rick Sullivan. “This will allow us to assess and communicate our accomplishments and impact policy-making for generations to come.”
“Part of the focus of our efforts is public engagement in addressing the many issues related to Global Warming,” said Undersecretary of Energy Barbara Kates-Garnick. “This dashboard is a great way to engage the citizens of the Commonwealth so that they can monitor, measure and ultimately contribute to our work.”
Funded by a grant from the Barr Foundation, 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.
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. EEA collaborated closely with the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) in developing this GWSA dashboard.
“Massachusetts is a national leader on energy efficiency and renewable energy,” said George Bachrach, President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts. “Fighting climate change is not government’s job alone. All of us must be in the game. We need tools such as the Climate ‘dashboard’ to measure our progress and challenges, and it must be done in the most transparent manner for all to see. Without measurement and accountability, we run the risk of stalling or falling back, a risk we cannot afford.”
"This is a great tool for the legions of concerned residents across the Commonwealth who are deeply invested in climate leadership in Massachusetts," said Cindy Luppi, Clean Water Action New England Director. "The dashboard will help us celebrate our progress while keeping our rudder on the continuous global warming pollution reductions needed to hit our target of 25 percent reduction of emissions by 2020."
Governor Patrick signed the GWSA into law in 2008, which established the most ambitious, economy-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction limits for any single state in the country:
- 25 percent below statewide 1990 GHG emission levels by 2020.
- At least 80 percent below statewide 1990 GHG emission levels by 2050.
EEA subsequently released The Massachusetts Clean Energy & Climate Plan for 2020, which is a portfolio of policies that EEA is currently implementing and that will ensure the Commonwealth reduces its GHG emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. 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 through energy savings, create jobs and spur economic development, especially through our rapidly growing clean energy sector. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/eea/gwsa .