Massachusetts Announces Clean Energy and Climate Plan

Massachusetts announced its Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020: it lays out how the state will achieve its targets under its Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008.

The law commits the state to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% by 2050.

Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles said  the plan won’t require new regulations or costs for businesses and residents that go beyond what they’ll receive in savings.

Bowles said that proves the first 20-30% GHG cut can be achieved cost-effectively nationwide. He expects the plan to create almost 50,000 jobs.

The state plans to reduce emissions from buildings by 9.8%; from utilities by 7.7%; from transportation by 7.6%; and non-energy emissions by 2%.

One of the ways Massachusetts may cut transportation-related emissions is through a pilot pay-as-you-drive car insurance (PAYD), where people can qualify for lower rates if they drive less.  Discounts apply when drivers stay below a threshold of miles traveled each year. Insurance companies benefit because the less people drive, the lower their risk for accidents.

California insurance regulators have approved PAYD programs, and both NY and Mass. are considering them.  Mass. estimates a PAYD system could reduce emissions 2-9.5%.

Massachusetts has committed $2 billion to help buildings become more efficient, the largest source of emissions in the state.

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