Massachusetts has made great progress in reducing its contribution to global warming over the past decade. Despite this progress, however, Massachusetts is not yet on track to hit our 2020 target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions – a target that we must meet in order to do our part to prevent the worst impacts of global warming. Massachusetts also has yet to set a new target for emission reductions for 2030, which is now just 15 years away.
To ensure that the Commonwealth stays on track to meet its target under the Global Warming Solutions Act of cutting emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050, Massachusetts should adopt a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to at least 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and take full advantage of a new wave of game-changing opportunities – from cutting-edge technologies to emerging societal trends – that can help Massachusetts build on its position of national leadership in the fight against global warming.
Massachusetts has long been a leader in the fight against global warming, and the state has made major progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But Massachusetts must go even further to cut carbon emissions to the level scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.
Fortunately, the tools and technologies to rapidly cut carbon emissions are at our fingertips. This document profiles Massachusetts-based companies and projects that are embracing ten innovative, game-changing trends to reduce carbon emissions.
The federal government and states like Massachusetts are making progress in reducing the carbon emissions that cause global warming. In the next decade, existing state policies and federal rules such as the Clean Power Plan will cut carbon pollution by 1.1 billion metric tons, or 27 percent from 2005 levels.
Solar energy is on the rise in the United States. At the end of the first quarter of 2015, more than 21,300 megawatts of cumulative solar electric capacity had been installed around the country, enough to power more than 4.3 million homes. The rapid growth of solar energy in the United States is the result of forward-looking policies that are helping the nation reduce its contribution to global warming and expand its use of local renewable energy sources. Decision-makers should recognize the great value delivered by distributed solar energy by preserving and expanding access to net metering and other programs that ensure fair compensation to Americans who install solar energy.
Environment Massachusetts Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.