Legislation signed by Gov. Charlie Baker sets Massachusetts on a path to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The comprehensive law includes new targets for renewable energy procurement. It also sets goals for energy efficiency and building code restrictions.
“Climate change is an urgent challenge that requires action and this legislation will reduce emissions in Massachusetts for decades to come while also ensuring the Commonwealth remains economically competitive,” states Gov. Baker.
One of the major goals is to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. That goal rises to 75 percent in 2040 and 85 percent by 2050. The remaining 15 percent of carbon emissions will be offset through other measures, such as carbon banking and carbon sequestration.
The law targets six subsectors of the economy for carbon reduction: electric power, transportation, commercial and industrial heating and cooling, residential heating and cooling, natural gas distribution, and industrial processes. Each sector must adopt individual emissions goals for every five-year period until 2050.
Another part of the bill includes a new building code, which is based on the idea of constructing new buildings with net-zero emissions. Currently, an estimated 27 percent of the state’s emissions come from heating buildings. A commission will define the details of a net-zero building over the coming 18 months.