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Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020


  • Massachusetts needed to address its greenhouse gas emission challenges.
  • To help determine priorities, Abt analyzed shifts in emission sources.
  • The report outlined strategies for meeting the state’s emission goals.
The Challenge

In 2015, it was determined that Massachusetts’ Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 mandated that an update be made to the Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020. The report needed to address the energy challenges that Massachusetts residents and businesses faced and how to achieve required cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Approach

The report focused on the more efficient use of fuels in vehicles and buildings and the delivery of additional clean electricity to consumers. To determine priorities, Abt analyzed shifts in emission sources between 1990 and 2012. For example, electricity consumption emissions dropped from 30 percent to 22 perecent, while mobile combustion emissions rose from 32 percent to 42 perecent. Nearly all fuel-combustion sectors cut emissions between their peak year and 2012.

The Results

The analysis in the report indicated that a GHG emissions reduction of at least 25 percent from the 1990 level by 2020 is attainable, and reaching this goal requires consistent effort and collaboration across all sectors. The report also discussed strategies for meeting the 2050 goal of at least 80% reduction from 1990. To meet that goal, policies that must start now include smart growth strategies, electric-vehicle market development, and renewable thermal-sector development.