Massachusetts Governor Baker Signs New Climate Legislation

Zero Emissions

On 3/26/21, Governor Baker signed comprehensive new legislation to support its commitment to Net Zero emissions by 2050, and builds on previously issued 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap and Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030. The legislation, announced in a Press Release, updates the greenhouse gas emissions limits related to the 2008 Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act, and commits Massachusetts to achieve Net Zero emissions in 2050. The new legislation requires the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) to establish an emissions limit of no less than 50% for 2030, and no less than 75% for 2040. The legislation also authorizes EEA to establish emissions limits every five years for at least six sectors of the Massachusetts economy—electric power; transportation; commercial and industrial heating and cooling; residential heating and cooling; industrial processes; and natural gas distribution and service. In addition, the legislation contains provisions for investment in clean energy, and encouraging use of alternatives.

Businesses considering expansion into areas within or adjacent to “Environmental Justice Neighborhoods” will need to plan for potential additional requirements. The new legislation requires Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) reviews to include an Environmental Impact Report for all projects that impact air quality within one mile of an Environmental Justice Neighborhood and requires the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to conduct a stakeholder process to develop a cumulative impact analysis as a condition of permitting certain projection.

Stay tuned for more information.  If you have a question on potential impacts to your organization or would like assistance in developing appropriate strategies to address current and anticipated changes, please contact us at