Massachusetts House and Senate Pass Comprehensive Climate Legislation

Massachusetts House and Senate Pass Comprehensive Climate Legislation 

Photo by Aubrey Odom-Mabey, Unsplash

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 21 2022

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is pleased that the Legislature has passed a comprehensive climate package that will positively impact our region’s environment, infrastructure, economy, and public health. We thank both the House and Senate for their leadership in passing important bills and working under a tight timeline to create a powerful and progressive conference report. 

We are particularly excited to see a commitment to offshore wind development, an opportunity not only to shift away from our reliance on fossil fuels, but also to jump start a new green economy and workforce. 

Beyond increasing green energy production, we are very glad to see the Legislature take a comprehensive approach to mitigating climate change, including new guidance to reduce emissions in the transportation and building sectors. This bill addresses the fact that our transportation system is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and puts us on a path to meaningful emission reductions across the entire sector. We are very glad to see a plan to transition to the sale of only zero emission vehicles by 2035, increasing rebates for purchasing or leasing zero emission vehicles, expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and the electrification of buses. 

MAPC has long supported stronger statewide building energy codes and emissions reporting. This bill requires emissions reporting for large buildings, which will make it easier to understand how to best invest in smart retrofits and set new emissions standards. 

This legislation modernizes our grid by requiring electric companies to plan for increased electricity use, reliability, and resilience even in times of disaster. MAPC looks forward to working with our municipalities and utilities as we implement greener critical infrastructure.   

Also included in the final legislation is a pilot program for 10 municipalities to prohibit new local construction from relying on fossil fuels. As the Administration puts together the framework for this program, we urge them to ensure that low-income communities, communities of color, and environmental justice communities are able to participate, and that there is a strong focus on ensuring that participating communities take proactive steps to encourage the production and preservation of quality affordable, healthy, sustainable, and resilient housing for people of all income brackets.  

MAPC looks forward to continuing to work with the Legislature and the Baker Administration to increase renewable energy production and energy efficiency while ensuring access and affordability for Environmental Justice populations.