Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles set a statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limit in Massachusetts for 2020. It’s required by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 at 25% below 1990 levels, the maximum authorized by the Act, saying that measures already in place will get Massachusetts much of the way toward that goal. 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, Secretary Bowles said.
“Massachusetts has already taken great strides in energy innovation, sparking a clean energy revolution in the Commonwealth and getting us two-thirds of the way toward 25% lower emissions by 2020,” said Secretary Bowles. “I am confident we will meet the 25% limit I set today with a portfolio of policies that build on reforms made to date, launch practical new initiatives on a pilot basis, and generate cost savings and jobs.”
The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), signed by Governor Deval Patrick in August 2008, mandates the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. It also requires the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to set a legally enforceable GHG emissions limit for 2020 of between 10 and 25% below 1990 levels by January 1, 2011, and to issue a plan for achieving those reductions while growing the clean energy economy. Secretary Bowles set the limit at the statutory maximum of 25% and released the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, which contains a portfolio of policies designed to meet the limit.
The 136-page Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 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, both jobs that fill every niche in the clean energy supply chain – electricians, installers, researchers, architects, manufacturers, plumbers, energy auditors, technicians, and scientists – and jobs throughout the economy as lower fossil-fuel energy expenses lead to more spending on in-state goods and services.
In electricity supply, established programs like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Renewable Portfolio Standard will be supplemented by efforts to obtain additional clean energy imports such as Canadian hydropower and a proposed Clean Energy Performance Standard, which would require electricity suppliers to favor lower- and no-emissions sources in the mix of electricity delivered to their customers, will reduce emissions 7.7% by 2020. In transportation, MassDOT’s recently announced GreenDOT sustainability program and other efforts to limit growth in driving, federal fuel efficiency standards, lower-carbon fuels, and potential incentives for clean cars to be studied and piloted are expected to produce 7.6% GHG reductions. And in non-energy related sources of emissions, new and expanded programs will address leaking refrigerants that are more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide, for additional reductions of 2%.
The Secretary’s 2020 Greenhouse Gas Limit Determination, the full Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, the Executive Summary of the Plan, and a letter to EEA Secretary Bowles from the co-chairs of the Climate Protection and Green Economy Advisory Committee can be viewed here.
Filed Under: Policy