- Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience
- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Releases Climate Report Card
Maria Hardiman, Communications Director
BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration released a Climate Report Card to evaluate progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting communities from the impacts of climate change. The Report Card was one of 39 recommendations of Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer’s recent report to the Governor. Given that the state's greenhouse gas inventory takes time to assess, this report card identifies metrics that can be leading indicators of emissions reductions. Such metrics help identify where the state is on track and where it may face challenges. The report card offers assessments of the state’s environmental justice, transportation, buildings, power, natural and working lands, and climate resilience efforts. Overall, Massachusetts has made significant progress and is well positioned for 2025, but a strong policy response to existing and emerging challenges will be needed to meet the state’s ambitious 2030 targets.
“The 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act and the 2021 Road Map Law placed Massachusetts at the forefront of states leading the clean energy transition. Burning fossil fuels is responsible for about three quarters of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. To avoid more dangerous levels of warming, we must rapidly reduce reliance on fossil fuels—for heating homes, schools, and businesses, powering electric generation, and fueling vehicles—and protect our natural and working lands that help draw down and store carbon. These are the Commonwealth’s core strategies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Clean Energy and Climate Plans developed by EEA for 2025/2030 and 2050 lay out the steps to achieve our mandated emissions reductions,” said Climate Chief Hoffer. “The Report Card shows us exactly what we need to do and it’s a call to action. We need to weatherize our homes and schools and businesses, switch to clean heat, use cleaner appliances, create better, more affordable ways for people to get around without a car if they choose, and for those who drive, get more people into new or used EVs when they are in the market for a new car. And we need to build the clean energy—the wind, solar, batteries, geothermal, hydropower transmission to power all that. We need every person to join in this effort—this is our moment.”
“The Climate Report Card tells the story of where we are and where we need to go to protect our communities in the face of mounting extreme weather,” said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Rebecca Tepper. “As Massachusetts makes progress and faces challenges in implementing our climate vision, it’s important that we follow the science and stay transparent about our progress. The Climate Report Card offers a window into the state’s advancement to date and a roadmap as we go forward.”
“The Commonwealth’s housing needs and our climate goals are inextricably linked,” said Housing and Livable Communities Secretary Ed Augustus. “This Report Card will guide and inform our housing policies and will build upon the state’s progress towards a greener future. We are committed to working across agencies to reduce emissions in the building sector, including through our Affordable Homes Act, which makes significant investments in decarbonizing our public housing stock."
"Our state's response to climate change presents a tremendous opportunity for economic growth. Every investment we make now in our offshore wind industry and climatetech ecosystem will translate to good-paying jobs and healthier communities in the years to come,” said Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao. “We're committed to working across agencies to realize this potential and ensure we are making progress towards our climate goals.”
“The Report Card is a commitment to the public that we are serious about climate and resiliency goals,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “We all know it is critical to address climate change and the Report Card will help inform and guide us into taking steps to keep people safe and protect our infrastructure. It’s not just about making sure that our dams are resilient, making sure that the culverts are strong physically, it's about making better choices and better investments."
The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) of 2008 created a framework for reducing heat-trapping emissions to levels that scientists believe give us a reasonable chance of avoiding the worst effects of global warming. It required a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all sectors of the economy below the 1990 baseline emission level in 2020, a 50 percent reduction in 2030, and achieving Net Zero in 2050. The 2025/2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) outline possible pathways for reaching the GWSA's 2025 and 2030 emissions limits.
Estimates of Massachusetts’ total GHG emissions are published with an approximate two- to three-year lag due to data availability. The most recent complete data set is from 2020. 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. For example, the number of heat pump installations under Mass Save is available with less than a one-year lag. Where available, metrics are measured against targets, which are based on a future potential trajectory of how Massachusetts can meet its emissions limits and climate goals. There are many possible paths to achieving our overall emissions limits.
The CECP identifies 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 adapt to climate change. Across sectors, external macroeconomic challenges brought on by inflation, supply chain issues, and workforce shortages are the largest roadblock to meeting targets.
Environmental Justice: Massachusetts state agencies have made significant progress increasing staffing capacity for environmental justice. Led by the new Office of Environmental Justice and Equity, this expanded capacity will enable the principles of environmental justice and equity to be implemented in a meaningful, coordinated way across all agencies. The state is also advancing meaningful engagement with, and equitable distribution of, funds to environmental justice communities.
Transportation: The Transportation sector is currently on track for 2025 but interventions are needed to drive the rapid decarbonization required between 2025 and 2030. This includes a ramp up in electric vehicle adoption and charging infrastructure and actions to increase public transportation use and alternatives to single-occupancy vehicle travel. Significant state funding is in the process of being deployed to address these challenges.
Buildings: The Buildings sector is currently on track for 2025, but interventions are needed to drive the rapid decarbonization required between 2025 and 2030. Continued adoption of the specialized stretch code, the work of the Massachusetts Community Climate Bank, and the deployment of billions of federal dollars will help address these challenges. A Clean Heat Standard and greater access to and assistance with incentives for building decarbonization will be needed to scale the policy response.
Power: The Power sector is currently on track for 2025, but supply chain, inflationary, and commercial obstacles are delaying the deployment of clean energy, especially in the offshore wind sector. Significant interventions are needed to remain on track for 2030. The outcome of the upcoming offshore wind procurement, the recommendations of the Commission on Clean Energy Infrastructure Siting and Permitting, further clean energy procurements, strategies to reduce electric load, and addressing interconnection issues will be central to these efforts.
Natural & Working Lands: The Natural and Working Lands sector is currently on track for 2025. Interventions are needed to slow, stop, and reverse the loss of undeveloped land, particularly forests, and its carbon storage and sequestration capacity. It will be crucial to balance competing land use needs, secure additional funding for conservation, and expand climate-oriented land management and restoration.
Climate Adaptation & Resilience: Massachusetts has made significant progress to advance state and local resilience to climate change, but more funding, policy, and regional coordination will be required as climate change worsens. The implementation of the ResilientMass and ResilientCoasts strategies are central to this sector.