January 28, 2021
The recently passed climate bill (S.9) represents a significant step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding clean energy, and uplifting environmental justice communities. We thank the Legislature for their bold leadership and continued commitment to combatting climate change in the Commonwealth.
While this bill is a step in the right direction, more work remains. The foundation of the climate bill is strong, but some key amendments are needed to address implementation concerns, especially relating to the net zero stretch energy code for buildings. The goal of updating the stretch energy code is commendable. However, the current bill language lacks clarity regarding process and scope and establishes an infeasible timeline for adopting an updated code. Moving forward, the commercial real estate sector must be at the table to define compliance pathways and timelines for net zero buildings that are both technically and economically achievable.
While it is disappointing that the Legislature did not take the opportunity to improve the bill language at this time, we look forward to continuing to work with Governor Baker’s team to enhance the bill. We now have an unparalleled opportunity to advance a compromise bill that propels Massachusetts toward meeting its climate goals, while investing in the region's equitable growth. We are grateful for the vision of our state leaders and the thoughtful perspectives of our members—we at A Better City remain committed to being part of the solution.