Massachusetts Climate Report Card - Initiatives and Policy Levers

A candid look at the Commonwealth’s progress to date will provide accountability to the public, advocates, lawmakers, and the state itself and inform the adoption of new strategies to reduce emissions.

Table of Contents

Assessments & Metrics

The assessments in this report card outline both the progress and the emerging challenges in more detail as the Healey-Driscoll Administration hones in on implementing the 2025/2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) and its climate resilience and environmental justice goals. Each sector’s assessment includes a set of quantitative metrics that capture aspects of progress in the sector and were used as part of the rating process. Although greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions are the primary yardstick by which climate mitigation progress is legally measured—and how compliance with the Commonwealth’s previous commitments is determined—estimates of Massachusetts’ total GHG emissions are published with an approximate two to three-year lag due to data availability. In turn, other metrics can offer more real-time indicators of progress, which can provide valuable insight to determine where adjustments are needed to achieve future emissions limits and climate goals. The values shown below are taken from the latest available data.  

The metrics in this report card capture important facets of each major sector contributing GHG emissions and advancing resilience and environmental justice. They are based on data that can be collected and tracked on a recurring basis to build an evolving picture over time. However, they often do not capture the whole picture. The effectiveness of efforts to make climate progress through policies and programs is often mediated by economic and other dynamics at the regional, national, and even global levels. The assessment therefore also considers broader challenges and efforts to meet the moment.

For more information on clean energy and climate data, please visit the clean energy & climate dashboard.


Where available, metrics are measured against targets, which are based on a future potential scenario for how the Commonwealth can meet its emissions limits and climate goals. For example, the actual number of EVs on the road in 2022 can be compared to the 2025/2030 CECP target of 60,000 EVs in 2022 and 200,000 on the road by 2025. It is important to note there are many possible paths to achieving our overall emissions limits. Targets are often derived from modeling that considers a range of such futures. Using its “phased” scenario modeling, the 2025/2030 and 2050 CECPs outline some targets that collectively represent one possible path that the Commonwealth can use to meet its emissions limits and climate goals. Some metrics do not have associated targets, as explained in the sector assessments. As policies evolve, individual targets may change or become less relevant. Such cases are discussed in the sector sections. 

Understanding the Data

Progress towards targets is often not linear. For instance, adoption of new technologies often follows an s-curve, where adoption is initially slow, accelerates as the technology becomes more widespread, and then slows again as it saturates the market. In this way, the past progress of a metric is not always indicative of future progress even when measured over the same length of time. The sector assessments take such dynamics into consideration, looking not only at individual target values for 2025 and 2030, but also at the broader pattern of how changes are anticipated to be made. 

More broadly, the metrics for each sector are just one component in assessing climate progress. Generating a rating for each sector relies not only on numbers, but also on the expected evolution of programs and policies, the broader economic and technological landscape, and expert assessment of the most salient challenges and opportunities. The assessments and ratings presented below are a culmination of this multi-faceted process. 

Challenges and Meeting the Moment

Massachusetts’ climate goals are ambitious by design. Our clean energy and climate plans identify a path to Net Zero in which the sharpest emissions reductions will occur between 2025 and 2030. Further, the impacts of climate change are becoming more intense. As a result, significant action must happen now to mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

graph: Emissions Reduction from 1990 Baseline

The Healey-Driscoll Administration is rising to the challenge. The state is implementing key programs, launching new initiatives, and leveraging the unparalleled federal funding to achieve its climate goals. It is working with its regional partners to craft regional solutions. It is engaging with communities to empower local solutions. This report card summarizes the magnitude of the task while also inviting stakeholders into the solutions we are working to deploy.

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