Massachusetts

With a Republican governor and an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature, Massachusetts has made significant progress on climate action, acting as a regional and national leader in climate policy.

Legislative Profile

Governor: Charles D. Baker (R)

House: 129 (D, supermajority) ǀ 29 (R) ǀ 1 (I)

Senate: 36 (D, supermajority) ǀ 3 (R)

U.S. Climate Alliance Member

Emissions Reduction Targets

By 2030:

50%

By 2040:

75%

By 2050:

Net-zero

All targets relative to 1990 levels

2018 GHG Emissions By Sector (%)

  • Commercial
  • Electric
  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Transportation
  • Other
Source: EIA State Energy Data System (SEDS)

Use the + icons in each policy area below to explore climate policy that has been passed at the state level, with links to relevant legislation and trackers. Policies in gray have not yet been passed in this state.

Climate Governance & Equity

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Climate Governance

Greenhouse Gas Targets

Emissions Reduction Target

50% by 2030 | 75% by 2040 | net-zero by 2050 Relative to 1990 levels

Mandate Source

Mandatory – S.9 – Creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy

Climate Action Plan

Draft Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030

Plan Status

Draft – Due July 2022

Climate Bureaucracy

Interagency Commissions/Task Forces

Non-Governmental Advisory Bodies

GWSA Implementation Advisory Committee

State Climate Portal

Climate Action Portal

Lead by Example

ACEEE Score – 2 out of 2 points**

**The ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard analyzes the policies and programs states adopt to save energy in public sector buildings and transportation fleets. States can earn up to 2 points.

Equity

Environmental Justice Community Designation

Mandate Source

S.9 – Creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy

Definition

“Environmental justice populations” are defined as neighborhoods where the median household income is 65% or less of the statewide median; minorities comprise 40% or more of the population; 25% or more of households lack English proficiency; and/or there exists certain combinations of these factors.

Include race? Yes | Include income? Yes | Include pollution burden? No

State EJ Mapping Tools

EJ Community Benefit Requirement

EJ Bureaucracy

Adaptation & Resilience

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Governance and Planning

Governance Structures

Global Warming Solutions Act (2008) – Implementation Advisory Committee

Adaptation and Resilience Plans/Frameworks

Climate Hazard Mitigation Plans

Massachusetts State Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan (2018)

Preparing for the Storm: Recommendations for Management of Risk from Coastal Hazards in Massachusetts (2007)

Solutions and Funding

Building Codes, Land Use, and Zoning

Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Regulations (2013) – Requires all state agencies to prepare for climate change impacts

Built/Hard Infrastructure

Grid Resilience Measures

Act 227–2018 (2018) – Relates to electric distribution system resiliency reports

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

State Funding and Resources

Act No. 2018–209 / H4835 (2018) – State and local environmental and community resilience funding

StormSmart Coasts Program. Includes the MA Coastal Resilience Grant Program

Electricity

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Renewables and Energy Storage

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Target

35% by 2030

Legislation

HB 4857

Distributed Generation/Solar Carve-out

SPOT Components – 4 out of 5*

Net Metering

SPOT Components – 8 out of 11*

Energy Storage Standard

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Shared Renewables

SPOT Components – 4 out of 6*

Grid and Utility Reform

Grid Modernization Plan

The GridWise Alliance’s Grid Modernization Index (GMI) evaluates and ranks the status of grid modernization efforts across all 50 states and D.C.

50-state Ranking – 11th

Interconnection Standards

SPOT Components – 5 out of 6*

Utility Green Power Option

SPOT Components – 2 out of 6*

New Utility Business Model Proceeding

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Buildings & Efficiency

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Energy Codes and Standards

Residential Codes

SPOT Components – 6 out of 6*

Commercial Codes

SPOT Components – 6 out of 6*

Stretch or Reach Codes

Building Performance Standard (BPS)

Appliance Performance Standard (APS)

Efficiency Programs and Financing

Weatherization Programs

SPOT Components – 4 out of 4*

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

SPOT Components – 5 out of 10*

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

SPOT Components – 5 out of 5*

Market Mechanisms

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Buildings Data Disclosure

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Transportation

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Vehicle Standards

Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Standards

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandates

Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle (MHDVs) Sales Standards

Incentives and Market Mechanisms

Electric Vehicle Incentives

SPOT Components – 3 out of 5*

Charging Infrastructure Incentives

SPOT Components – 2 out of 5*

Carbon Pollution Pricing

Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)

*The State Policy Opportunity Tracker (SPOT) breaks clean energy policies down into “components”, which are binary questions to evaluate policy quality. Higher quality policies have more of their SPOT components fulfilled.

Agriculture

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Soil Health and Regenerative Agriculture Governance

Mandate Source

S.2404 – Passed as part of 2021 economic development bill

Task Force Portal or Action Plan

Healthy Soils Action Plan

Financial Incentives

S.2404 – Passed as part of 2021 economic development bill

Technical Assistance & Education Programs

S.2404 – Passed as part of 2021 economic development bill

Food Waste Bans and Targets

Mandate Source

310 CMR 19.017

Target or Ban

Food Waste Ban – Required for businesses and institutions that generate more than 1 ton of food waste per week

Industry, Materials, and Waste Management

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HFC Regulation

310 CMR 7.76 (2020)

Carbon Pollution Pricing

What are we missing? Let us know!

Last Updated Nov. 2021