On March 26, 2021, Massachusetts Governor Baker signed legislation, “An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy” (“the Act”). The Act amends the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and directs state agencies to set interim economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions limits, as well as sector-based emissions sublimits for certain sectors, every five years. It codifies the state’s long-term emissions limit of net-zero emissions by 2050 and directs the adoption of a 2030 emissions limit of “at least 50 percent below 1990 levels” and a 2040 emissions limit of “at least 75 percent below 1990 levels.” The Act also increases Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements, directs the creation of a municipal opt-in energy building code, addresses environmental justice protections, and directs the procurement of an additional 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind by 2027.
The Act is an amended version of a prior bill that Governor Baker vetoed and subsequently proposed technical and substantive amendments to in January 2021. This summary reviews the main provisions of the Act, as well as amendments and other changes that were incorporated into the final version.