The Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has set the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limit for 2020, as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, at 25% below 1990 levels.
The Global Warming Solutions Act, signed by Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., in August 2008, mandates the reduction of GHG emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, and requires the secretary of the EEA to set a legally enforceable GHG emissions limit for 2020 of between 10% and 25% below 1990 levels.
In his formal determination of the 2020 emissions limit, EEA Secretary Ian Bowles notes that ‘established state policies to promote energy conservation and cleaner energy sources are expected to produce GHG reductions of 18 percent below 1990 levels by 2020,’ and that the remaining question before him in making the determination was ‘where in the remaining statutory range of 18 [percent] to 25 percent reduction it is practical and appropriate to set the 2020 limit. Central to that question is what additional actions of policy, regulation and legislation could be pursued that would achieve additional emissions reduction by 2020 and beyond.’
The 136-page Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 contains a portfolio of established and new measures designed to reduce energy waste, save money and stimulate the adoption of clean energy technologies. It is estimated that 42,000 to 48,000 jobs would result from full implementation of the plan in 2020.
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 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.