12 Point Massachusetts Climate Emergency Plan
With change imminent in national energy policy, states must assume leadership in preventing catastrophic climate disruption. Taking this emergency seriously requires a World War II scale mobilization and a broad and inclusive base of support. Particular attention must be paid to the voices of those least responsible and most affected– the Environmental Justice (EJ) communities. Massachusetts can and should play a leading role by making an emergency transition to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030, with policies implemented by each state agency and involving every energy sector:
- Accelerate the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy.
- Create and enforce a comprehensive energy plan mandating the achievement of 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030, relying mostly on solar and wind, with special support for community-based, owned, and controlled energy production.
- Require electric utilities to create resilient “smart” grids – both macro and micro.
- Require electric utilities to meet accelerated energy storage goals.
- Remove caps on solar net metering statewide.
- Restore retail net metering credit for community-shared and low-income solar.
- Require increased wind procurement to meet 2030 goal of 100% renewable energy.
- Increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to meet the 2030 100% goal.
- Prohibit new nuclear or biomass plants.
2. Incorporate climate justice principles.
Climate change puts Environmental Justice (EJ) communities already suffering from environmental hazards at additional risk. They are disproportionately affected by fossil fuel pollution, and they are more vulnerable to rising temperatures and flooding from violent storms.
- Ensure EJ communities have a strong voice in all decisions concerning emissions reduction, renewable energy infrastructure, and disaster protection and recovery.
- Expand green job training, public transit and employment in EJ communities.
3. Reduce fossil fuel dependence in transportation.
- Require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to plan for an electric transport system servicing Massachusetts municipalities, including rail, bus, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, & complementary bicycle infrastructure; fund it by 2018.
- Increase subsidies and incentives for carpooling and EV ownership.
- Prohibit sale of new fossil fuel powered passenger vehicles in MA by 2030. Create a buy-back program for such vehicles, & incentives to make replacements affordable.
- Require the Commonwealth to “Lead by Example” by prohibiting state and municipal purchase of fossil fuel powered passenger vehicles by 2020.
- Implement a clean fuel standard for vehicles unable to be powered by electricity.
4. Reduce energy demand in building and construction.
- Require a new “Stretch Code” specifying that all new building be zero-net energy.
- Require that all appropriately sited new buildings be solar ready.
- Require energy audits before sale/rental of buildings and display of the energy label.
- Increase incentives to retrofit existing buildings to approach zero-net energy.
- Require Massachusetts to “Lead by Example” by retrofitting all Commonwealth buildings to conform to the above standards, with benchmarks for progress.
- Transition oversight of MassSave to an entity without vested interests.
5. Prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure.
- Prohibit new fossil fuel pipelines, plants, compressor stations, & export structures.
- Phase in decommissioning of fossil fuel electricity generation by 2030.
6. Continue alignment of MA investments with 100% renewable energy goals, by divesting the MA pension fund from fossil fuels.
- Mandate divestment of state funds from fossil fuel companies within 5 years.
- Require reinvestment in local clean, renewable energy.
7. Boost financing for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation.
- Use state funds and tax incentives to transition to 100% renewable energy
- Create public/private financing (e.g. Green Bank) for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation projects.
8. Create/expand green jobs and economic opportunity.
- Create a comprehensive plan for clean energy technology manufacturing in MA.
- Ensure job training and reemployment of displaced fossil fuel & nuclear workers.
- Ensure that state programs offering financial incentives for increasing economic opportunity prioritize small, local, green businesses.
9. Accelerate fulfillment of required emissions reduction in all energy sectors.
- Require monitoring, with accelerated benchmarks, incentives and penalties.
10. Reduce/eliminate methane emissions.
- Provide benchmarks, monitoring & penalties for methane leaks from all pipelines, compressor stations, LNG liquefaction & storage facilities.
- Prohibit charging customers for lost gas.
- Provide incentives to reduce agricultural and landfill emissions.
11. Implement a fair carbon pollution fee and rebate program.
- Implement a fair carbon pollution fee for wholesalers of fossil fuels, and rebate the fee in an equitable way to residents (especially to low-income residents) and businesses/organizations in MA.
12. Expand statewide public education campaigns to mobilize public support for the rapid energy transition.
- Require the Department of Energy Resources to launch a “Make it Renewable, Make it Local, Make it in Massachusetts” campaign to mobilize support for a rapid renewable energy transition, and promote sustainable living and business practices.