Wind turbines and solar panels

Massachusetts Climate Chief Recommends Changes to Address Climate Crisis

Massachusetts Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer’s must-read report, which was released on October 25, 2023, and issued pursuant to Section 3(b) of Executive Order (“EO”) No. 604 outlines a “unified, whole-of-government approach to advancing executive department climate policy and achieving the Commonwealth’s Net Zero and related emissions reduction mandates.”

The Climate Chief Hoffer’s detailed recommendations include: adopting an integrated, or “systems thinking” approach to climate action; requiring that all relevant government decision-making take the best climate science and data into account; ensuring that the burdens and benefits of a clean energy transition are shared equitably; helping local governments to prepare for various and more frequent extreme weather events; a recommendation that all discretionary state government spending should be aligned with the 2050 Net Zero mandate and climate resilience priorities; deploying innovative funding strategies for decarbonization, adaptation, and resilience; that all agencies prioritize climate solutions that solve other problems such as improving public health, protecting biodiversity, growing the Massachusetts economy, eliminating deferred maintenance of infrastructure and improving accessibility, increasing food and water security, and where possible, considering solutions that advance regional or interstate partnerships; and that agencies be transparent with respect to climate actions and progress toward climate goals.

The report makes clear that Massachusetts’ carbon free future will depend on successful and affordable generation, distribution and storage of electricity from wind, solar, hydro and geothermal sources.

The Climate Chief’s recommendations build upon EO 594’s leading by example policy, which requires “agencies to assess and implement strategies to mitigate, and ultimately eliminate, greenhouse gas emissions from onsite fossil fuels from state government operations when planning for and executing projects related to the design, construction, operations, and maintenance of state facilities, and the procurement of goods and services, including fleet vehicles.”

Although the report does not address the Commonwealth’s policy on waste reduction and elimination, it is significant that in August 2023 the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection with assistance from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and the RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts program issued its “Solar Panel Recycling – A Review of Existing Markets and Practices.”

 

Categorized: Environmental

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Amanda Zuretti
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Amanda Zuretti

Amanda Zuretti, a co-editor of the Commercial Real Estate Insight & News blog, focuses her practice on real estate, land use, municipal law and public procurement. She has also developed a subspecialty in local telecommunications regulations.

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Amanda Zuretti
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Of Counsel

Amanda Zuretti

Amanda Zuretti, a co-editor of the Commercial Real Estate Insight & News blog, focuses her practice on real estate, land use, municipal law and public procurement. She has also developed a subspecialty in local telecommunications regulations.

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