Massachusetts passes sweeping climate legislation to reduce emissions

We recently shared how Massachusetts is on the verge of constructing the nation’s first utility scale offshore wind farm. Now, it’s continuing to expand its commitments to a post-carbon future with the passage of a sweeping climate law that will guide the Bay State towards its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The law, which was passed last week by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, sets emission limits at 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 75 percent below by 2040 with interim limits every five years. As part of its strategy to meet those targets, the state will add more wind power to its grid, encourage cities and towns to green up their built environment, and build more EV infrastructure.

By 2050, officials expect the state to eliminate 85 percent of all its carbon emissions and offset the remaining 15 percent with tree planting and carbon capture technologies. The net-zero target of 2050 is in line with the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to avoid rising temperatures beyond 1.5C.

Over the next three decades, Massachusetts will focus on reducing carbon emissions from six key sectors: electricity, transportation, residential buildings, commercial and industrial buildings, industrial processes, and natural gas distribution. This comprehensive climate pledge is an encouraging blueprint for diversified emissions reduction across all sectors and will hopefully provide guidance for other states seeking to adopt similar measures.

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