Emission limits comment period expected this fall

Boston Statehouse
Car emissions exhaust_398706

A car emitts carbon monoxide gas from its exhaust tailpipe, showing how pollution is formed.

BOSTON (SHNS) – Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said Thursday her office plans to solicit feedback this fall on the 2025 and 2030 emission limits set by a new climate law signed by the governor in March, followed by a public process in the winter focused on interim carbon reduction and sequestration goals.

Theoharides sent an email to stakeholders and those who commented over the first three months of the year on the administration’s clean energy and climate plan, outlining the time frame for complying with components of the new climate law.

The bill signed by Gov. Charlie Baker set a limit of at least 50 percent emissions reductions below 1990 levels by 2030, and gave the administration until July 1, 2022 to establish a 2025 emission limits, sector-specific sublimits for 2025 and 2030 and plan to achieve those reductions.

“We are reexamining the portfolio of policies in the Interim 2030 CECP and analyzing additional strategies, policies, and actions that can help the Commonwealth achieve at least 50% emissions reduction by 2030 while protecting and enhancing carbon storage on our natural and working lands,” Theoharides wrote. “We will examine the costs and benefits of those policies, their potential impact on and benefits to Environmental Justice communities, and measures to track their implementation over time.”

While Theoharides said the administration intends to meet the July 1, 2022 deadline, the secretary said the administration would be convening a commission on clean heat starting next month to explore ways to reduce pollution from heating sources.

“Meeting our aggressive interim emissions reduction targets and achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050 requires that we press forward with policy implementation while continuing to plan,” she wrote.

Baker released his interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 in December, but Theoharides is now working to update that plan to meet the requirements of the new climate law passed by the Legislature.

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