BOSTON — Building on its commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions in the Commonwealth by 2050, the Baker-Polito administration released two reports — the Massachusetts 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap Report and an interim 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan — that detail policies and strategies to equitably and cost-effectively reduce emissions and combat climate change. To maximize the Commonwealth’s ability to meet its 2050 target, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides set an interim 2030 statewide emissions limit of 45% below 1990 levels.
“The people of Massachusetts are experiencing record droughts, increased risk of wildfire, severe weather, and flooding in our coastal communities. The costly impacts of climate change are on display in the Commonwealth, making it critical that we take action,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “I was proud to commit the Commonwealth to achieving net-zero emissions, and the reports released today move the Commonwealth toward that goal equitably and affordably.”
The first-in-the-nation 2050 roadmap outlines eight potential pathways to net-zero emissions, including an analysis of potential energy resources, projected energy demand, and the energy supply necessary to meet the demand in all sectors of the economy while meeting the 2050 emissions limit established by the Commonwealth in April 2020. The roadmap includes a summary report and six technical appendices, each detailing analysis and conclusions for specific sectors: energy supply, transportation, buildings, land use, non-energy, and economic and health impacts.
Based on its analysis of a range of potential pathways, the roadmap finds that the most cost-effective, low-risk pathways to net zero share core elements, including a balanced clean-energy portfolio anchored by a significant offshore-wind resource, more interstate transmission, widespread electrification of transportation and building heat, and reducing costs by taking action at the point of replacement for energy infrastructure.
The roadmap also finds that achieving net-zero emissions will deliver significant benefits to residents across the Commonwealth, including a precipitous drop in air pollution, particularly in environmental-justice communities currently overburdened with poor air quality; savings in health costs of up to $100 million per year by 2030; and the creation of thousands of local jobs.
“We know that achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 will require hard work and collaboration across all sectors of the economy in the Commonwealth,” Theoharides said. “The 2050 roadmap establishes a blueprint that will help us achieve our climate goals in a way that is cost-effective and delivers significant benefits to residents across the Commonwealth, especially those in our most vulnerable communities. The steps the Commonwealth takes in the next decade will help to advance the decarbonization of our buildings, transportation, and electricity sectors, and be central to meeting our 2030 emissions limit.”