Massachusetts aims to slash emissions 25 percent by 2020

Administration describes the target as the most ambitious goal for greenhouse gas emissions reduction set by any in the nation. Do you know what your state is doing?
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is embracing the maximum reduction targets suggested by its own Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008, adopting a statewide target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels over the next 10 years.

The goal -- described by the state's administration as the most ambitious statewide target in the nation -- was set up by outgoing Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles. The target complements the state's 136-page Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, and it was set after eight different public hearings around the state. Here's what Bowles has to say in the official press release from late December:

"Massachusetts has already taken great strides in energy innovation, sparking a clean energy revolution in the Commonwealth and getting us two-thirds of the way toward 25 percent lower emissions by 2020. I am confident we will meet the 25 percent limit I set today with a portfolio of policies that build on reforms made to date, launch practical new initiatives on a pilot basis, and generate cost savings and jobs."

Massachusetts is looking to its clean energy plan to create 42,000 to 48,000 jobs by 2020, jobs spurred by clean energy technology adoption, energy efficiency measures and other related initiatives. Among other things, the state has embraced one of the most aggressive energy efficiency programs in the country, one that it hopes will spur $6 billion in customer savings from approximately $2 billion in investment. These measures including things like new building codes, product labeling and a rating system for buildings that is kind of like the fuel efficiency label you would see on a car. Likewise, the state transportation department has adopted a number of initiatives related to encouraging "clean" driving habits and cars, and the state is looking at increasing its clean energy supply.

If you want to get a sense of the emissions targets set within your own state -- and how it might affect your business or the local economy - the Pew Center on Global Climate Change has compiled a list detailing the latest actions, along with links to the various clean energy acts on the books at various state legislatures.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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