Transportation, Land Use, and Smart Growth

Progress toward 2020 GHG Emissions Reduction Limit

The following polices from the updated Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 will increase vehicle fuel efficiency and reduce mobile fuel combustion.

Vehicle Efficiency and GHG Standards (CAFE/Pavley)

  • Improved efficiency in light-duty vehicles in Massachusetts has reduced about 1.4 million metric tons of GHG emissions in 2013 alone.

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Federal Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards

  • MassEEA’s consulting team estimated GHG emission reductions arising from the preliminary phase of a program to increase fuel efficiency in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Since the regulation applies only to new vehicles, emissions reductions from the program will mount steadily as older vehicles are retired over time. Phase II of the program was just finalized in August 2016.

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Clean/Electric Vehicle Incentives

  • Funding to develop electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and support the growth of the state’s EV fleet only began in 2013 and already more than 7,000 zero-emission vehicles are on the streets.

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Smart Growth

  • Statewide, construction of single-family housing has leveled off while construction of buildings with five or more units has grown steadily, especially in denser urban areas. At the same time, vehicle miles traveled (VMTs) have stayed steady, despite a modest increase in population. As more of the Commonwealth’s population moves to dense, mixed-use housing in communities with low average daily VMTs, Smart Growth’s true potential to reduce GHG emissions will be realized.  Use the toggles in the legend of the graph to the right to see how your community stacks up!

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Implementation of RFS and CFS are currently delayed.

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MassDOT is examining a variety of policies to reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector.

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Progress Compared to GHG Emissions in the State

Text version of the below graph