Massachusetts has continually increased its climate ambitions in recent years despite having a split government. The state’s governor, Republican Charlie Baker, has worked with the Democratic legislature to support an increase in renewables and also mitigate climate threats through resiliency and adaptation projects. Massachusetts’ Renewable Portfolio Standard, first established in 1997, targets 35 percent renewables by 2030, with a 1 percent increase each year thereafter. Moreover, the state is targeting 40 percent clean electricity by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. In 2020, an executive order set a 2050 target for 85 percent emissions reduction versus 1990 levels, and Massachusetts is now debating a major clean energy bill that would increase the state’s statutory reduction target from 80 percent to 85 percent. The state ranked 8th in the country in solar photovoltaic generating capacity and solar power production at the end of 2019, and it has also set specific targets for hydroelectric power, offshore wind and energy storage. The 2018 State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan, which was the first of a kind in the United States and established by executive order, outlines how the state will tackle long-term risks such as flooding, coastal erosion, droughts, wildfires, extreme temperatures and other threats. Massachusetts passed a new law in 2021 setting a net-zero mandate by 2050, with interim targets of 50 percent and 75 percent reductions by 2030 and 2040 respectively.


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