Governor Baker signs executive order establishing First-in-the-Nation Commission on Clean Heat

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BOSTON (WWLP) – Building off of his administration’s commitment to achieving Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050, Governor Charlie Baker Monday signed an Executive Order establishing a Commission on Clean Heat.

According to a statement released from the Commonwealth’s Governor, the role of the Commission is to advise Baker’s Administration on strategies to achieve deep reduction in emissions from the use of heating fuels in Massachusetts. As part of it’s directive, the Commission is expected to establish a framework for a long-term decrease in emissions from heating fuels, to assist with Baker’s described ambitious 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap. Currently, the Commission is the first of its kind across the United States.

“Recognizing the urgent challenge presented by climate change and the need to reduce emissions, our Administration is convening this first-of-its-kind commission to help the Commonwealth meet our emissions reduction goals,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By soliciting the expertise of leaders with a variety of perspectives, including the affordable housing community, we can ensure that the strategies and policies we pursue to reduce emissions from heating fuels will be innovative, affordable, and equitable.”

The Commission will be led either by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, or a designee appointed by her. It will include up to 22 additional members that are expected to reflect a range of different backgrounds including representatives from the fields of: affordable housing, energy efficient building design and construction, healthcare, heating system design and technology, real estate, and heating fuel distribution.

“By working directly with stakeholders and soliciting a variety of perspectives, Massachusetts will be in a stronger position to develop innovative policies and solutions to cost-effectively reduce emissions from heating homes and buildings,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The Executive Order signed by Governor Baker today once again puts Massachusetts on the leading edge of climate action in the U.S. by taking a deliberate, collaborative and thoughtful approach to decarbonizing our buildings sector.”

Following in the Governor’s roadmap, the Commission is expected to make recommendations that assist in Baker’s plan to reduce emissions to below: 50% of 1990 levels by 2030, 75% of 1990 levels by 2040, and to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. The Commission’s focus will include financing mechanisms, incentives, and other regulatory options including a framework for a cap on greenhouse gas emissions from heating fuels.

“As we continue to tackle the dual challenges of economic recovery and the housing crisis, I am pleased that we will have a Commission comprised of leaders with varied perspectives to deliberate on this important topic,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We look forward to the conversations and strategies that will come out of this collaborative effort.”

The Commission is expected to provide Governor Baker with a set of policy recommendations by November 30th of next year.

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