Advancing Climate Policy Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic


Earlier this year, the Baker Administration announced that it would be committing Massachusetts to a net-zero by 2050 economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.  The Baker Administration is now in the process of defining the contours for a net-zero future and has asked for public input regarding direct emissions reductions versus offsets and other critical details. A Better City submitted comments to the Baker Administration on April 10, 2020, voicing support of the Governor’s commitment to economy-wide net zero emissions by 2050. Additionally, A Better City recommended that the net-zero definition be set at no more than 80% direct emissions reductions economy-wide, allowing for up to 20% of emissions reductions to be achieved via offsets, Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and/or Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). A Better City further recommended that the Administration commit to an interim target of at most 50% emissions reduction from 1990 levels by 2030 economy-wide, placing the state-level interim target for 2030 in alignment with the City of Boston, the City of Cambridge, and other existing city-level targets. A Better City also emphasized the need for the Administration to establish incentive structures for decarbonization that are equitable across sectors, and to actively engage with business stakeholders every step of the way. Thank you to all who have provided invaluable input on these comments.

While the administration has requested specific input on their net-zero by 2050 letter of determination at this juncture, further discussions around sector-specific targets, compliance mechanisms, and best practices for offsets will be ongoing.

We look forward to continuing to engage with A Better City members and colleagues on these vital topics. Please see our comment letter on the net-zero by 2050 letter of determination here. For more information on ongoing climate policy initiatives in Massachusetts, please do not hesitate to reach out to Isabella Gambill or Yve Torrie.



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