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Global Warming Solutions Act: How Massachusetts Has Acted on Climate Change

Image: Global Warming Solutions Act: How Massachusetts Has Acted on Climate Change
The Scattergood Power Plant operates after sunset on November 29, 2006 in El Segundo, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 03:26 PM

Massachusetts is working to become a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions with the Global Warming Solutions Act. The bill signed into law in August of 2008 aims at a 25 percent reduction in emissions by 2020.

State leadership set out to prove that reduction of greenhouse gases does not have to hurt the economy, but can help it. They have had some success. According to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the state economy grew by 60 percent between 1990 and 2010 while greenhouse gases in the state were reduced by more than 10 percent.

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According to a five-year progress report on work towards the goals of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act, the law in that state put forth the “most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions” state plan in the country. Their successes are attributed in part to a large “clean energy economy” and “the lowest per capita energy-related carbon dioxide emissions” in the country. The progress report hailed the growth of wind and solar energy, a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and a Green Communities Program in which the state has provided incentives for plans to reduce energy usage.

The Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act law followed a 2006 law in California that aimed at reducing emissions by 2020 back to 1990 levels. According to the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board, that act has already seen significant success. A recent scoping plan in that state laid out the first five years of improvements and pushed forward for more changes to reduce greenhouse gases. California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols said in a press release, “We now get twice as much production from a ton of greenhouse gases as the rest of the country.”

The Conservation Law Foundation, which helped enact the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act, says the law provides a “model for federal action.” Among the initiatives the Conservation Law Foundation points out as actions in the plan include making the state “coal-free” and preserving the state’s forests.

The Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act mandates greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by 80 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050.

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Massachusetts is working to become a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions with the Global Warming Solutions Act.The bill signed into law in August of 2008 aims at a 25 percent reduction in emissions by 2020.
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2014-26-14
Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 03:26 PM
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