One year after the landmark emissions reduction roadmap law was signed and with eight years to go until its first major decennial checkpoint, the Environmental League of Massachusetts on Monday unveiled a new website that will track the state’s progress toward the so-called climate law’s commitments, including becoming net-zero by 2050.
Signed by Gov. Charlie Baker on March 26, 2021, the law was designed to commit Massachusetts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, establish interim emissions goals between now and the middle of the century, adopt energy efficiency standards for appliances, authorize another 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind power and address needs in environmental justice communities.
To keep track of the law’s deadlines and requirements while work on them takes place across multiple departments and on various timelines, ELM rolled out a new website, www.NetZeroMA.org, with support from the Conservation Law Foundation, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and Elders Climate Action.
ELM Vice President for Policy Nancy Goodman said the website is meant to give advocates, legislators and state officials an easy way to track progress toward the state’s climate commitments.
“It will take bold plans, timely implementation, and accountability to ensure Massachusetts reduces emissions at the rate required by the latest science,” Goodman said.
The site lists more than 30 actions required by the law and cites the section of the law where the requirement originates.
ELM lists four completed actions — a gas emissions reduction goal for the MassSave program, early meetings around 2025 and 2030 emissions reductions requirements, the issuance of tax guidance for municipalities and clean energy project developers, and new energy efficiency appliance standards.
Two requirements — that new vacancies on the Board of Building Regulation and Standards be filled and that an environmental justice council be established — are listed as incomplete.
In addition to the 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2030, the climate roadmap law also requires Massachusetts to reduce emissions by at least 75 percent by 2040 and at least 85 percent by 2050, with tag-along policies to get the state to net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.
The Department of Environmental Protection estimated last month that greenhouse gas emissions from Massachusetts in 2020 were roughly 28.6 percent less than what was emitted into the atmosphere in the benchmark year 1990.
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