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Massachusetts, Washington Take Steps Towards NetZero Greenhouse Gas Emissions

placeholder+imagePosted on: 01/27/2020

Leaders in Washington and Massachusetts have recently taken significant and exciting steps towards net-zero emissions. 

In December, Washington Governor Jay Inslee introduced climate legislation aimed at reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, through measure including a clean fuel standard, increased electric vehicle availability, and an extended tax incentive for low-income community solar projects.  The state was already the fourth to commit to a 100% clean energy goal for 2045 in 2019.  

In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker and the legislature both took significant action this week towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  First, the Governor announced in his State of the State address that he was planning to adopt a net-zero emissions goal for 2050.  According to the Governor, “Yesterday's solutions and yesterday's plans are no longer sufficient. We must continue to take bold action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.” Next and as part of a set of climate related bills, the State Senate released "An Act Setting Next Generation Climate Policy, An Act to Accelerate the Transition of Cars, Trucks and Buses to Carbon-Free Power, and An Act Relative to Energy Savings Efficiency.” The act will be debated by the full Senate next week. Key provisions include:

  • A commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and to set sub-limits every five years thereafter
  • A plan to create a Climate Policy Commission to oversee the states performance and plans with respect to climate.  
  • A choice of mechanisms for setting a price on carbon
  • A climate mission for the Department of Public Utilities 
  • Efforts to supply low-cost solar electricity to low-income communities
  • Facilitating local efforts to adopt “stretch" building codes
  • Encouraging electric vehicles and ultimately zero emissions vehicles
  • Encouraging efficient appliances 
  • Creating a state energy use database for large buildings 

We look forward to seeing how these efforts progress! 



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