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 requires a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all sectors of the economy below the 1990 baseline emission level in 2020 and at least an 80% reduction in 2050. The Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 (2020 CECP) by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) outlines a pathway for reaching the GWSA's 2020 emissions limit.
In December 2018, EEA published its GWSA 10-Year Progress Report, which reviews the progress made in implementing the policies of the CECP toward the GWSA's 2020 target of a 25% reduction in GHGs below 1990 emissions. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's most recent GHG Inventory estimates that 2018 GHG emissions in the Commonwealth were 22% below the 1990 baseline level.
In spring of 2019, EEA kicked off its 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 informed the development of the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plans for 2030.
On June 30, 2022, Secretary Bethany Card certified the compliance with the 2020 emissions limit of 25% below the 1990 level, with an estimated emissions reduction of 31.4% below the 1990 level in 2020. Pursuant to the GWSA as amended by the Act Creating A Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy, the Secretary also adopted an emissions limit for 2025 of 33% below the 1990 level and an emissions limit for 2030 of 50% below the 1990 level, and emissions sublimits for the following sectors: Residential Heating and Cooling, Commercial & Industrial Heating and Cooling, Transportation, Electric Power, Natural Gas Distribution & Service, and Industrial Processes. The Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030, replacing the Interim 2030 CECP, outlines specific strategies, policies, and actions the Commonwealth will pursue to achieve the emissions limits and sublimits. Please visit www.mass.gov/2030CECP for information.
- More background on the GWSA
- GWSA Implementation Advisory Committee
- GWSA public meetings
- Learn more about the sources of GHG emissions and what you can do to help MA reduce its carbon footprint
- See what Massachusetts is doing to plan a low-carbon future
- Read about the Department of Environmental Protection's climate-related regulations and pollution tracking inventories, including our statewide GHG inventory.
Clean Energy Economy
Massachusetts is leading the way to a clean energy economy, reaping direct benefits in economic growth, through the development and implementation of smart, targeted policies that reduce emissions by promoting greater energy efficiency, developing renewable energy, shifting travel patterns, and encouraging cleaner alternatives to the combustion of fossil fuels. Text version of the below graph
GWSA Policy Implementation Progress
Since the passage of the GWSA in 2008, Massachusetts has created a strong framework of state laws, regulations, and executive orders that guides the Commonwealth’s actions to address climate change. The Massachusetts Updated Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 (2020 CECP) featured a broad suite of policies that aim to reduce GHG emissions in the Commonwealth across all sectors of the economy. Most of these policies have led to emissions reductions. In some cases, however, these policy-driven reductions have been offset by emissions increases related to population and economic growth, or have been masked by other changes as the economy has moved to embrace clean and efficient technologies, such as long-term trends away from petroleum use for space heating and power generation.
Click here to explore Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas emissions trends and policy goals. For a more detailed analysis of Massachusetts’ progress in implementing the 2020 CECP, please review the GWSA 10-Year Progress Report.