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MA Decarbonization Roadmap

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

Table of Contents

2050 Emissions Limit: Letter of Determination

On February 26, 2020, EEA released a Draft Letter of Determination with proposed language to set a 2050 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) limit. [Note: typo clarified in 3/4/2020 updated file]. This limit is designed to achieve net-zero GHG emissions, which Governor Baker announced during the State of the Commonwealth address on January 21, 2020. As announced in a press release, stakeholders were invited to submit written comments on the draft determination letter through 5pm on April 10, 2020. The comment period is now closed, though general feedback on the decarbonization roadmap is welcome using this form at any time.  EEA received extensive comments, including verbal and written comments at public meetings and webinar held in March 2020, as well as written comments submitted. Over 200 individual comments were received through and online form or via email, with another 633 comments received from Sierra Club members.

On Earth Day, April 22nd 2020, as announced in a press release, EEA Secretary Theoharides signed the Letter of Determination, setting the 2050 emissions limit as follows:

A level of statewide greenhouse gas emissions that is equal in quantity to the amount of carbon dioxide or its equivalent that is removed from the atmosphere and stored annually by, or attributable to, the Commonwealth; provided, however, that in no event shall the level of emissions be greater than a level that is 85 percent below the 1990 level.

 

Additional Resources

Public Engagement

EEA is working with stakeholders across the Commonwealth to ensure that development of the Massachusetts Decarbonization Roadmap to 2050 ("2050 Roadmap") is an inclusive policy planning effort. Stakeholders participating in this process include: the GWSA Implementation Advisory Committee (IAC), a Technical Steering Committee of local academic experts, community organizations, Environmental Justice organizations and communities, regional planning authorities, and other stakeholders to be identified. Additionally, public engagement will be an important component in the development of the roadmap, and there will be opportunities for public input.

EEA had planned several in-person public meetings through March, 2020.  Meetings were held in Worcester and Fall River, but out of precaution for COVID-19, the meetings in Roxbury, Pittsfield, Springfield, Lowell, and Bunker Hill/Boston were canceled.  On March 27th, EEA held a public webinar with over 200 attendees. Meeting and webinar recordings, slides, and webinar comments are linked below.  

Please Sign up here to receive periodic email alerts about the Study. 

General feedback on the study can be submitted using this form at any time. 

Please follow the instructions above to submit comments on the 2050 limit which are being collected until April 10th at 5pm; these comments will be made publicly available after this deadline.

Background Information

Signed into law in 2008, the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) established a statutory framework for the Commonwealth to set statewide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction limits, 25% by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050 below 1990 levels, and developed implementation plans to achieve emission reductions.

The GWSA also required the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), in developing the Clean Energy and Climate Plans (CECP), to consider the total potential costs and economic and non-economic benefits of GHG emissions reduction measures to the economy, environment and public health, using the best available economic models, emissions estimation techniques, and other scientific methods. Additionally, Governor Baker's Executive Order 569 lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities, and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth. It requires coordination of GHG mitigation policies with climate change adaptation policies.

Current Research Effort

EEA is developing a roadmap to 2050 that will identify the strategies, policies, and implementation pathways for MA to achieve at least 80% GHG reductions by 2050, including multiple pathways to net-zero emissions. The 2050 Roadmap will also inform the setting of the 2030 emissions limit and the development of the CECP for 2030.

Analysis supporting the roadmap will examine ways to decarbonize the buildings, transportation, electricity, and non-energy sectors; the role the Commonwealth's natural and working lands can play in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions; and the impacts of policy implementation, including:

  • Impacts to Environmental Justice (EJ) communities;
  • Economic costs and benefits;
  • Public health impacts;
  • Changes to the landscape; and
  • Co-benefits for climate change resilience.

Timing:

The planning process to develop the Roadmap kicked-off in July 2019.  Analysis will continue into 2020, with the 2050 Roadmap and the CECP for 2030 being published by December 2020.

Roadmap Timeline
2050 Roadmap Timeline

Feedback and Resources

EEA has several ways to stay engaged with this work:

Sign up here to receive email alerts about upcoming webinars, meetings, and more.

Attend a public meeting

GWSA public meetings are all published on the calendar here.

Review webinars

On April 8th, 2019, EEA hosted a Bidders Conference reviewing details of RFR. The meeting minutes and slides are available for download here.

Provide feedback

Do you have questions or ideas for the study?  Fill out this form to contribute to the effort! 

Additional Resources

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