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The GWSA required the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), in consultation with other state agencies and the public, to set economy-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals for Massachusetts that will achieve reductions of:
To ensure that these goals will be met, the Global Warming Solutions Act required the Commonwealth to:
EOEEA established two advisory committees to provide input on the implementation of the GWSA:
Also in August 2008, the Green Communities Act (GCA) was signed, a comprehensive reform of the Massachusetts energy marketplace that will greatly improve the state's ability to meet the GWSA targets. The GCA promotes a dramatic expansion in energy efficiency, supports the development of renewable energy resources, creates a new greener state building code, removes barriers to renewable energy installations, stimulates technology innovation, and helps consumers reduce electric bills. It also created the Green Communities Program, providing Massachusetts cities and towns with energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities.
Reporting of greenhouse gas emissions provides data that is important for developing emission reduction targets and plans, and for measuring progress toward goals. The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) required the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to promulgate mandatory greenhouse gas reporting regulations. (See Sections 2 and 10 of the Act, found at M.G.L. Chapter 21N).
MassDEP issued an emergency regulation (310 CMR 7.71) on December 29, 2008, that identified what types of facilities are required to report (see a list), required those facilities to register with MassDEP by April 15, 2009, and requires reporters to use the calculation methodologies published in The Climate Registry General Reporting Protocol.
In June 2009, MassDEP finalized amendments to the greenhouse gas reporting regulation. These changes included, but were not limited to, additional provisions to address statutory requirements such as verification, voluntary reporting and reporting by retail sellers of electricity. These amendments were developed following three stakeholder meetings and a public hearing.
To learn more, see: Massachusetts Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program
The GWSA required MassDEP to establish a baseline assessment of statewide greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, which will be used to measure progress toward meeting GWSA emission reduction goals. The Act also required MassDEP to establish a projection of likely statewide greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, under a "business as usual" scenario, which assumes that no new targeted requirements for reducing emissions will be established. This projection will be used to analyze options for emission reduction requirements, and to determine the extent of reductions that will be needed to meet GWSA goals.
The Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, MassDEP and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources jointly issued a 1990 Baseline and 2020 "Business As Usual" Projection This document was developed following a series of public meetings and a public hearing.
For additional information, see: Climate Change