2020 Policy Positions

The following priorities underscore the supporting organizations’ commitment to ensuring Massachusetts continues to be a leader in the quick and equitable transition to a clean economy. We must set goals that commit us to addressing the climate crisis at an economy-wide level and must diligently address pollution from some of our largest emitting sectors: electricity, transportation, and buildings. The  Commonwealth must take swift action to address these imperatives as soon as possible in 2020.

PRIORITIZING A RESPONSE TO THE CLIMATE CHANGE THREAT

Strengthen Climate Mitigation Commitment – Massachusetts must have GHG emission reduction targets consistent with scientific consensus. This can be achieved by expanding the greenhouse gas reduction requirements of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050. Supported bills include: H3983 - An Act to create a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving commonwealth; S524 - An act relative to 2030, 2040, and 2050 emissions limits.

  • Adjust 2050 economy-wide emissions reductions targets: The GHG emission limits set by the GWSA reflect the scientific consensus of a decade ago. Consensus has since shifted and the IPCC now definitively concludes that, by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions must reach net-zero.

  • Establish interim economy-wide emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2040: Reductions of at least 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2040 will ensure that the Commonwealth successfully reaches net-zero emissions by 2050. Achieving these interim and long-term targets must be implemented through timely promulgation of binding regulations. 

  • Consider emission reduction targets by sector that are consistent with achieving an economy-wide target: Setting sector-specific targets (e.g., buildings, transportation, electricity supply, and natural and working lands) consistent with achieving net-zero economy-wide emissions will ensure that compliance is not driven or undermined by any single sector. Supported bills include: H842/S2014 - An Act to sustain natural and working lands carbon in communities.

Achieve State Climate Goals Equitably – Environmental justice communities experience disproportionate impacts of pollution and climate change and often lack the resources to adequately participate in environmental decision-making. It is essential that the Commonwealth’s transition to a low-carbon economy be achieved both justly and equitably. Frontline communities and low-wage workers must benefit from the transition spurred by climate commitments, and environmental justice communities must be fully protected. Supported bills include:  H4264 - An act relative to environmental justice in the Commonwealth; S464/S453 - An act relative to environmental justice in the Commonwealth; S1931 - An Act relative to solar power in environmental justice and urban communities;  H2843 - An act removing barriers to solar for low income customers; S1956 - An act ensuring access to solar energy for all communities

 

THE ELECTRIC SECTOR

A Modern, Clean, and Resilient Grid – Provide for a future with widespread local energy resources, including solar, storage, and demand response, with improvements to the timeliness and fairness of interconnection processes, smarter electricity rates, improved net metering, enhanced access for low and moderate income (LMI) customers, with increased stakeholder input and regulatory accountability for meeting climate goals. Supported bills include: H3667 - An act relative to modern grid access and customer service; S2007 - An act relative to local energy investment and infrastructure modernization; H2808 - An act promoting local energy investment and infrastructure modernization.

Improved and Expanded Renewable Energy Procurement Mechanisms – Authorize additional state and regional procurements for offshore wind, storage, and other RPS Class I renewable energy resources, guard against conflicts of interest in project evaluation and selection, require climate benefits for all selected projects, enable new procurement mechanisms and funding sources to empower businesses and communities, and ensure that environmental impacts of electricity generation and transmission are appropriately avoided, minimized, and mitigated. Supported bills include: S2010 - An act to expand offshore wind development in the commonwealth; H2853/S1945 - An act for community empowerment; S2005/H2802 - An act to secure a clean energy future.

THE TRANSPORTATION SECTOR

Transportation Climate Policy and Equitable Clean Transportation Investment – Implement the Transportation and Climate Initiative in a timely manner, with proceeds invested to reduce transportation pollution and provide access to clean transportation for all, including communities with the least access to clean, reliable mobility options. Supported bills include: H3008 - An act to advance modern and sustainable solutions for transportation.

Electric Vehicles – Facilitate beneficial electrification of transportation and eliminate barriers to ownership and mobility choice for all consumers by promoting zero-emission fleets and transit, providing for sustained funding for consumer rebate programs and income-qualified incentives, increasing access to new charging stations, and integrating EVs into utility planning and smarter rates. Supported bills include: H3629 - An act relative to the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles; S1923 - An act to advance electric vehicle adoption; S1927/H2872 - An Act to promote zero-emission vehicle fleets by 2035.

THE BUILDING SECTOR

Energy Efficiency – Adopt a net-zero stretch energy code, ensure that appliances meet top efficiency standards, promote consumer education and building efficiency with home energy ratings, higher standards for large buildings, and improve implementation of statutes enacted in 2018. Supported bills include: H2865/S1935 - An Act to establish a net zero stretch energy code; H2832/S1986 - An act relative to Energy Savings Efficiency (SAVE); H4112 - An Act relative to energy efficiency.

Clean and Efficient Heating – Encourage beneficial electrification of heating, including efficient electric heat pumps, direct thermal renewables and other clean advanced technologies, through market development and customer education to reduce pollution and avoid unnecessary investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, and, where appropriate, require non-fossil heating and cooling in new buildings. Supported bills include: H2930/S1803 - An Act sparking the modernization of state heat systems; H2804 - An Act relative to energy efficiency.

 

EXPANDING REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES

Invest in Climate Solutions – Fund progress on goal-oriented climate commitments for municipalities and ensure that drivers of the clean economy, such as the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, are able to continue successful efforts. Supported bills include: H3997 – An Act relative to GreenWorks.