Massachusetts Targets Emissions Goals

The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), signed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in 2008, mandates the reduction of greenhouse gases in the state to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and requires the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to set a legally enforceable emissions limit for 2020 between 10 percent and 25 percent below 1990 levels by January 1, 2011. Now, Massachusetts’ Energy Secretary Bowles has set  that limit at the maximum–25%–sending a clear message that renewable energy is welcome in the Commonwealth.

Secretary Bowles noted that established state policies to promote energy conservation and cleaner energy sources are already expected to produce emissions reductions of 18 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. His office has now issued a plan to build on that momentum while growing the state’s clean energy economy, the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 [PDF], which contains a portfolio of policies designed to meet the limit.

Massachusetts Emissions Plan

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The 136-page plan contains a “portfolio” of established and new measures designed to save energy and money while stimulating the adoption of clean energy tech. The plan, if fully implemented, would create an estimated 42,000 to 48,000 jobs in every niche in the clean energy supply chain, including electricians, installers, researchers, architects, manufacturers, plumbers, energy auditors, technicians, and scientists, as well as jobs throughout the regular economy as lower fossil-fuel energy expenses lead to more spending on in-state goods and services. An Executive Summary of the plan is available online.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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