EEA releases Clean Energy and Climate Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Last Wednesday, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles set the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limit for 2020 required by the Global Warming Solutions Act. He set the target at 25 percent below 1990 levels, which is the maximum authorized by the Act. According to Secretary Bowles, measures already in place will get Massachusetts much of the way toward that goal and a targeted portfolio of additional policies, chosen because they promise overall cost savings, will allow the Bay State to reach the most ambitious target for GHG reduction of any state in the country.

The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), passed by the legislature in August 2008, mandates the reduction of GHG emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and required the Secretary of EEA to set a legally enforceable GHG emissions limit for 2020 of between 10 percent and 25 percent below 1990 levels by January 1, 2011, and to issue a plan for achieving those reductions while growing the clean energy economy.

The GHG emissions limit was part of the 136-page Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, which contains a "portfolio" of established and new measures that reduce energy waste, save money, and stimulate the adoption of clean energy technologies, thereby creating jobs at the same time that they reduce GHG emissions. It is estimated that 42,000 to 48,000 jobs would result from full implementation of the plan in 2020.

ELM and our allies worked hard to ensure that EEA adopted the maximum possible GHG emissions reduction target and will continue to work to ensure robust implementation of the plan. We applaud outgoing Secretary Bowles and the Patrick administration for its leadership in the fight against global warming.

To read the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, click here.


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