Climate Change Planning Efforts

While Massachusetts has many accomplishments to be proud of in the realm of greenhouse gas emissions reductions and creating safe, adaptive, and resilient communities, we are actively working to continue and expand each of those efforts. Read below to see the many efforts to plan and coordinate actions combating climate change in Massachusetts, regionally, nationally, and across the world.

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MA Decarbonization: Roadmap to 2050 and Implementation Plan to 2030

To achieve long-term emission reduction goals within the Commonwealth, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is undertaking a planning process to develop the "2050 Roadmap," identifying cost-effective and equitable strategies and implementation pathways that ensure Massachusetts reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050.

The 2050 Roadmap will also inform the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs in setting of the 2030 emissions limit and the development of the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for achieving that limit.

Real Impacts, Coordinated Response

In the last ten years, the Commonwealth has led the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fueled a new economy built on innovation and technology.  As we look to 2020 and beyond, Massachusetts has an opportunity to continue its leadership, working with regional states and partners through programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Transportation and Climate Initiative, and coalitions like the U.S. Climate Alliance. Global warming is not a problem that Massachusetts can solve alone. Only by engaging and working with our partners in New England and across the world will we be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve our natural resources, continue to grow our economy, and protect our residents and communities from the impacts of climate change. 

US Climate Alliance

The United States Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 24 governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Alliance is led by state governments and is focused on state-to-state cooperation to accelerate the deployment of climate solutions needed to help each achieve their climate goals.

Pursuant to our GWSA, which requires a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020, Massachusetts is already on track to achieve emissions reductions consistent with the Paris Agreement (which called for a 26-28% reduction below 2005 levels by 2025), Participating in the Alliance allowed Massachusetts to further leverage its leadership and success to-date. As of 2019, the Alliance states comprised 55% of the U.S. population, an $11.7 trillion economy, and 40% of U.S. GHG emissions. Thus, continued participation in the Alliance represents an element of the Commonwealth's commitment to lead the way for other states and nations seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions - and make a sizable difference in the fight against global climate change.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

In January 2007, Massachusetts joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cooperative effort by Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States to reduce CO2 emissions from large fossil-fueled power plants. RGGI is a regulatory program that uses market incentives. States collectively set a limit - or cap - on greenhouse gas emissions, then auction a number of "allowances" (each to emit one metric tonne of CO2) equal to the cap. The proceeds of the auctions are then invested into a variety of state programs, such as energy efficiency incentives, fuel assistance programs, and electric vehicle rebates that help consumers to reduce their energy demand and decarbonize the entire economy.

Massachusetts is working to expand this "cap-and-invest" model beyond the power sector through the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI).

Transportation & Climate Initiative

Massachusetts is helping to lead the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional collaboration of 13 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions, working together since 2010 to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy, and reduce emissions from transportation.

In 2019, Massachusetts and other states participating in TCI developed a framework for a draft regional policy proposal. Building on the success of RGGI's cap-and-invest model, the program would cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and invest the proceeds in a cleaner, more resilient, and more equitable low-carbon transportation system.

Comprehensive Energy Plan

In accordance with Governor Baker's Executive Order No. 569: : Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) published a Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) in December 2018.

The CEP includes reasonable projections of the Commonwealth’s energy demands for electricity, transportation, and thermal conditioning. The CEP also includes strategies for meeting these demands in a regional context, prioritizing meeting energy demand through conservation, energy efficiency, and other demand-reduction resources in a manner that contributes to meeting the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas emissions limits set by the GWSA.

Commission on the Future of Transportation

In January 2018, Governor Baker's Executive Order No. 579 established the Commission on the Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth to advise the Baker-Polito Administration on future transportation needs and challenges in Massachusetts. The Commission explored anticipated changes in technology, climate, land use, and the economy to determine likely impacts on transportation between 2020 and 2040, including:

  1. Climate and Resiliency
  2. Transportation Electrification
  3. Autonomous and Connected Vehicles
  4. Transit and Mobility Services
  5. Land Use and Demographics

The results of the Commission's work were published in December 2018. 

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