Alert from Climate Action Now Legislative Group

Today, July 12th, Climate Action Now will be providing oral testimony in support of S.2090, An Act incorporating embodied carbon into state climate policy. The bill will be presented by Sen. Jo Comerford to the Senate members of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy at their hybrid public hearing today, July 12 at 1:00 pm. 

Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions created during manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of building and infrastructure materials. The emissions that come from embodied carbon account for between 11-23% of global annual emissions. Learn more at

We will also send written testimony in favor of this bill.  Please send your own individual written testimony in favor of this bill, as a show of strength for its passage. 

Written testimony is due this Friday, July 14th, by 5pm.

Written testimony can be submitted via email to Lexi Concannon at The deadline to submit written testimony is Friday, July 14th by 5:00 p.m. When submitting written testimony, please send it as an attachment and use the following document title format:  

Bill# – Your Organization’s Name – Support/Oppose 

Those who do not plan to testify but want to watch the public hearing may attend in person or view the live stream under the Hearings & Events section of the [] legislative website. 

This hearing will be chaired by Senator Barrett. If you have any questions, please reach out to committee staff by emailing   

Sample letter

To make it quick and easy, we have attached a sample letter about this bill that you can personalize. Be sure to add your name in the file name [they ask that files be named Bill# – Your Name – Support/Oppose]  and at the bottom of the letter. The 2nd paragraph has a place holder [ ] to add why this bill is important to you, and, of course, you can change the letter as you see fit to put it in your voice. 


July 14, 2023

Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, & Energy

Senate Chair Michael J. Barrett

24 Beacon St., Room 109-D

Boston, MA, 02133​​​​

Dear TUE Senate Chair Barrett:

Thank you for holding a hearing on S.2090, An act incorporating embodied carbon into state carbon policy. I urge the TUE to vote this bill favorably out of committee.

[Personalize letter with why this bill is important to you]

While this bill, at first, may seem obscure and too technical to consider, in understanding that embodied carbon, or the greenhouse gases (GHG) in building materials make up approximately 11-23% of annual carbon emissions globally, it becomes clear that the bill fills in a gap in our state’s climate policies.

GHG emissions from operating buildings are well recognized in MA’s climate policies, but embodied carbon is not yet comprehensively addressed. 

Embodied carbon includes the emissions from building materials, starting with the raw material extraction, to manufacturing, installation through disposal.

Building materials with high embodied carbon typically release the majority of their emissions upfront, in the short-term, during the manufacturing and construction processes, which can take buildings that operate efficiently years or even decades to recoup. As you know, our climate crisis calls for the immediatereduction of GHG emissions. And unlike with operational carbon, embodied carbon emissions cannot be lowered after the building is constructed.

Cost-effective strategies for lowering embodied carbon currently exist:

• Readily available, lower emission cement mixes for concrete production reduce the GHG emissions of one of the highest embodied carbon building materials by 14-33%, with little or no added cost. Substitute, low carbon cement materials are able to meet the long-term need for concrete, even though cement is the 2nd most-used substance in the world after water. 

• Using high recycled content rebar lowers GHG emissions 4-10%, again at little to no cost premium.

• Selecting low or no embodied carbon insulation offers a 16% emission reduction, at no extra cost. Low embodied carbon insulation products are already widely available. 

• Reusing salvaged materials is another strategy being utilized. 

We would not be the first to develop policies on embodied carbon. 

• California has a state-wide Buy Clean policy, with maximum acceptable embodied carbon for building materials. 

• Cambridge, MA, has new zoning regulations requiring whole building embodied carbon lifecycle analyses for large buildings. It is considering extending the life of existing buildings, to minimize use of new materials. 

The bill develops policy approaches to address this complex problem:

• Our state climate chief, in consultation with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), would establish an Embodied Carbon Advisory Board.

• DOER, with that advisory board and our climate chief, would produce guidelines and recommendations for best practices to measure, track, & reduce emissions from the embodied carbon in building materials.

I urge you to recognize this bill’s significant positive impact on reducing our climate emissions and vote the bill positively out of committee. Our climate can’t wait.


[your name]