Massachusetts

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts is home to almost half of New England’s residents presenting a unique challenge in the fight against the effects of climate change. With most of Massachusetts’s population focused on its east coast, the threat of rising sea levels puts coastal urban centers like Boston in immediate danger. As sea levels rise, Boston is losing a vital line of defense against coastal flooding as the cost of 21stcentury storm damages in Boston alone is projected to be between $5-100 billion. Further, important industries that Massachusetts relies on such as farming and fishing are at risk. Rising temperatures have been shown to interrupt animal migratory patterns, introduce invasive species to certain ecosystems, and have an overall harmful effect to agricultural production.

Fortunately, Massachusetts is among the leaders in environmental policy and energy efficiency. Starting in 2002, Massachusetts adopted a Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS)which set a requirement for electricity retailers to acquire increasing amounts of renewable energy with a goal of 15% by 2020 with an additional 1% each subsequent year. By 2018, 33% of the state’s electricity generation has come from nuclear and renewables with 66%from natural gas. Massachusetts is actively working on many aspects to site and develop potential offshore wind projects responsibly, reduce their risks, and cultivate jobs in the sector. In 2016, the Massachusetts legislature set the ambitious goal of requiring state’s utilities to procure 1,600 MW of offshore wind capacity and in 2018, updated that standard to 3,200 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2035.

Utility-scale solar and wind resources did not come online until 2008, but, by 2018, more than one-tenth of the state’s net generation, including small-scale generation, was produced from those two renewable resources, primarily from solar photovoltaic (PV) power. Massachusetts ranked 7thin the nation in solar PV electricity generation.

In 2008, Massachusetts passed its seminal piece of climate legislation, the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), making it one of the first states to pass a comprehensive climate change regulatory program. The original goals set by the GWSA included a 10-25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 based on 1990 levels and an 80% reduction by 2050. As of 2018, in its 10-year progress report the 2017 greenhouse gas emissions were estimated to be 22.4% below 1990 levels, exceeding expectations.

To achieve the goals laid out in the GWSA, the state legislature passed the Green Communities Act (GCA)in 2008. The act provides a policy framework and investment into electricity production to create more affordable energy and expedite the transition to renewable energy. Under the GCA, all Massachusetts municipalities are eligible for up to $10 million/year in technical and financial supportfor the promotion of energy efficiency as long as the guidelines of the GCA are followed.

Just over a decade ago, the first mandatory carbon emissions abatement program in the US launched, with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). This market based system currently spans nine northeastern states including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey (an initial member who left in 2012 with plans to return in 2020), New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It’s an innovation and powerful cap-and-trade system, most recently reset to require a 30% reduction from 2020 levels by the year 2030.

Massachusetts is one of twenty five states committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

It’s time for Northeast to prep for floods like those that hit this winter. Climate change is why

By Patrick Whittle 02/15/24
After back-to-back storms lashed the Northeast in January, rental properties Haim Levy owns in coastal Hampton, New Hampshire, were hammered by nearly two feet of water, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage…
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A Superfund for climate change? States consider a new way to make Big Oil pay.

By Katie Myers 02/02/24
Last July, the normally warm and humid but still pleasant New England summer was disrupted by a series of unusually heavy rain storms. Flash floods broke creek banks and washed away roads, inundating several cities…
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Massachusetts should ban third-party electric suppliers

By Andrea Joy Campbell and Michelle Wu 01/29/24
Massachusetts’s 26-year experiment with third-party electric suppliers for individual residents has failed. The data are clear: Through aggressive and deceptive marketing tactics and predatory contracts, so-called competitive suppliers have overcharged Massachusetts residents by more than…
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The seas are coming for coastal homes. How will communities, and the state, respond?

By Sabrina Shankman 01/18/24
In the age of climate change, as sea levels rise and more intense storms wear away the natural landscape that had protected coastal communities for generations, state and local officials are considering more radical measures,…
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New England storm aftermath: Shoreline flooding, evacuations, and washed-out roads

By Emily Sweeney and others 01/10/24
A pounding rainstorm that lashed the region overnight caused extensive flooding along the coast Wednesday, washing out roads, engulfing vehicles, and forcing evacuations in Rhode Island and Hampton, N.H. The storm dropped several inches of…
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Massachusetts Switches On Its First Large Offshore Wind Farm

By Brad Plumer 01/04/24
The first large offshore wind farm in New England has started producing electricity, a milestone for an industry that has struggled to get off the ground over the past year.
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Power up: Vineyard Wind sends electricity to the grid

By Jennette Barnes 01/04/24
New England’s first large offshore wind farm has delivered electricity to the grid.
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Avangrid, CIP Announce First Power from Nation-Leading Vineyard Wind 1 Project

01/03/24
Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a global leader in greenfield renewable energy investments, today announced that power from the Vineyard…
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World’s largest energy-efficient ‘passive house’ office building opens in Boston

By David Abel 11/16/23
From a distance, the new skyscraper looks like any other generic glass tower looming over downtown Boston. But it’s the bowels of the building — in its curtains of glass, in its thickly insulated walls,…
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Cape Cod residents say no to offshore wind transmission lines under beaches

By Sabrina Shankman 11/14/23
The scene at Barnstable High School on a recent Monday night felt like a homecoming rally — all anxious energy, cheers, and hugs. A crush of bodies flooded the hallway as revelers greeted friends and…
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Boston’s plan to ban fossil fuels in new buildings goes up in smoke

By Sabrina Shankman 11/12/23
More than three years after introducing her Green New Deal plan for Boston as a mayoral candidate, Mayor Michelle Wu said in an interview last week that the city will not be participating in a…
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Climate migration to Massachusetts ‘an urgent concern’

By Jennifer Smith 10/26/23
MASSACHUSETTS IS ALREADY struggling to keep pace with emergency housing needs for migrants, many fleeing unsafe political conditions in other countries. A new report from the state’s climate chief warns that the Commonwealth also needs…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Healey’s climate chief calls for more specifics ahead of Massachusetts 2050 goals

10/25/23
The Healey administration released a set climate-related recommendations Wednesday that highlight the need to find money for decarbonization strategies as climate-related impacts and northward migration patterns put more and more pressure on the region.

Massachusetts Unveils ResilientMass Plan to Combat Extreme Weather and Climate Change

10/12/23
Yesterday, the Healey-Driscoll Administration unveiled the ResilientMass Plan, a comprehensive Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan.

Renewables on the rise in Massachusetts: solar grew nine-fold over past decade

10/11/23
In 2022, Massachusetts produced the equivalent of 10% of the electricity it consumes from solar, wind and geothermal power, compared with just 1.2% in 2013, part of a larger transition toward clean energy technologies. That’s…

New England states join to buy offshore wind power as US industry struggles

10/05/23
Three U.S. states in New England - Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut - on Wednesday agreed to jointly procure offshore wind power as soaring interest rates and rising equipment and labor costs have made some…

Massachusetts seeks to streamline approvals for community choice aggregation

10/04/23
Massachusetts officials are proposing policy solutions to address a bureaucratic backlog that municipal leaders and clean energy advocates say is bogging down one of the state’s most successful drivers of clean electricity purchases.

Mass. seventh among states in clean energy jobs

09/18/23
Massachusetts had the seventh most clean energy jobs among states in 2022, according to a report released Thursday by a national business group.

A big battery is replacing this old Massachusetts fossil power plant

09/13/23
A battery storage development is replacing a fossil-fuel-burning power plant in western Massachusetts, providing a model that supporters say could be emulated elsewhere.

Massachusetts grants $31.5M to cities, towns, tribes to prepare for climate change

08/31/23
The funds are part of the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program, which provides planning grants to assess and mitigate potential climate hazards such as flooding and extreme heat—along with funds to implement these plans. It also…

Largest U.S. Offshore Wind Project Could Produce Power This Year

08/03/23
America's first major offshore wind farm is coming into focus on the wavy horizon off Massachusetts.

Labor crunch will threaten clean energy expansion in Massachusetts, report says

07/19/23
Massachusetts's lofty mid-century climate goals hinge upon the state's ability to convince residents and businesses to make the switch from fossil fuels to cleaner electric power, but success will also require tens of thousands of…

Study: Renewable energy could up New England rates 20%

06/11/23
A new study shows power demand in New England has experienced an 11.4% drop from 2008 to 2020 but could cost ratepayers billions of dollars to incorporate zero-emissions electricity.

Mass. company looks to limit food waste and turn it into clean energy

06/10/23
About a third of the world's food is thrown away, and a Massachusetts company is looking to turn that waste into renewable energy. CEO Ryan Begin of Concord-based Divert says the U.S. wastes even more…

Massachusetts biz owners knock escalating costs amid energy transition

06/07/23
A group of business owners warned Wednesday that efforts to transition Massachusetts to renewable sources of energy have hamstrung them with higher costs at a time when policymakers are grappling with how to make the…

Difficulty Connecting to Electric Grid Stalls Renewable Energy Projects

05/28/23
New England’s renewable energy transition is getting strung up when it comes to plugging new projects into the electric grid.

This is our decade to electrify everything

05/25/23
Electrification is inevitable. It’s cheaper, healthier, and better for our environment. And if we act now, we can save ourselves huge costs in the future. Take a step in your own life toward getting rid…

Massachusetts Water District Adds Solar, Battery Storage

05/03/23
The Acton Water District in Massachusetts is planning to install an additional 1.5 megawatt solar and 2 megawatt-hour battery storage project, which will directly supply its microfiltration treatment plant.

Massachusetts eyes 3.6GW offshore solicitation

05/03/23
The state of Massachusetts has filed for approval its fourth and largest offshore wind solicitation to date, to procure up to 3600MW of energy.

Standard Solar Acquires Solar + Storage Project from EDF Renewables North America, Advances Massachusetts toward its Clean Energy Targets

04/25/23
The Acton Water District in Acton, Massachusetts, will soon add an additional 1.5 megawatt (MW) solar and 2 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery storage project to their cost-saving clean energy portfolio. Standard Solar acquired the Knox Solar…

2 new commissions helping Mass. transition to clean energy, offshore wind

04/20/23
As the state creeps closer to deadlines on its climate targets, the Healey administration will launch two commissions aimed at easing the transition to clean energy infrastructure in Massachusetts.

Offshore wind in New Bedford: A guide to what you need to know

03/23/23
An already busy port of New Bedford will be even busier when the full effect of the offshore wind industry hits. A direct impact on the New Bedford/Fairhaven Harbor is already being felt, and seen,…

Senator Markey Outlines Progressive Permitting And Development Priorities For Clean Energy And Engagement With Environmental Justice Communities

03/21/23
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Senate sponsor of the Green New Deal and author of several climate and environmental justice provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, today unveiled his progressive clean energy deployment and permitting…

Ban hydrogen in homes? Mass. debate mirrors national quandary.

03/20/23
Plans by Massachusetts utilities to blend low-carbon hydrogen into natural gas distribution networks to feed homes and other buildings has sparked a national debate over “green” hydrogen’s reliance on renewables and what that might mean…

‘Green Hydrogen’ Would Squander Renewable Energy Resources in Massachusetts – Inside Climate News

03/06/23
Efforts by natural gas utilities in Massachusetts to replace 20 percent of their fossil gas supply with “green hydrogen” derived from renewable electricity would consume more clean energy than would be produced by the state’s…

Massachusetts heat pump installer network builds momentum

03/03/23
BUILDINGS: A Massachusetts program has exceeded its heat pump worker training projections in its first year, but will need to keep growing to help meet the state’s 2050 net-zero goal. (Energy News Network)

Massachusetts energy efficiency programs should shift focus to emissions, critics say

02/27/23
Massachusetts lawmakers and advocates are looking at ways to overhaul the state’s energy efficiency collaborative Mass Save, arguing that the longstanding, utility-run program isn’t up to tackling the present-day climate crisis.

Scientists Are Trying to Pull Carbon Out of the Ocean to Combat Climate Change

02/27/23
There's a growing consensus among climate scientists that in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming, humanity has to find a way to sequester carbon dioxide — and most efforts to date have…

Commonwealth Fusion Systems Opens Fusion Energy Campus on The Fastest Path to Bring Clean Fusion Energy to the World

02/10/23
U.S. Energy Secretary Granholm, Massachusetts Senators Markey and Warren, Massachusetts Lt. Governor Driscoll, and other federal and state officials join Commonwealth Fusion Systems' CEO Bob Mumgaard for a tour of the future home of commercial…

Vermont Joins Multi-State Effort to Create Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub in Northeast

02/09/23
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced Vermont has signed on to a multi-state agreement, joining with New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, to develop a proposal to become one of up to…

Heat pumps had their first major local test last weekend. Here’s how it went

02/08/23
Jamie Foundas decided last month to finally get rid of oil heat in his 1960s-era Natick home and put in electric heat pumps. It’s the kind of heating system favored by Massachusetts as it pushes…

Onshore, Offshore Wind Energy Projects Get Big Boost in Maine

02/08/23
Maine is set to double its current onshore wind capacity with state regulators' approval of the 1-GW King Pine project in its northern region along with a 345-kV transmission line to deliver the electricity to…

In first State of the City address, Michelle Wu pledges to overhaul Boston’s planning process

01/25/23
In her first State of the City address, Mayor Michelle Wu pledged to overhaul the city’s urban planning process, challenging business and elected leaders to support her vision as she works to sustainably grow Boston…

One company could sink Massachusetts’ climate goals

01/25/23
As Massachusetts races to slash its carbon emissions, the state has repeatedly turned to one company for clean energy. Now that approach might jeopardize its climate targets.

Solar program aims to cut energy costs for lower-income Rhode Island residents

01/10/23
The New England state recently issued a request for proposals from solar companies to partner on a program that will lease and install solar equipment on homes owned by low- to moderate-income residents. Solar program…

New England states poised to capitalize on new federal climate law incentives

10/24/22
Years of work crafting climate and clean energy plans have left New England states in a prime position to take advantage of renewable energy incentives in the historic climate bill enacted by Congress over the…

Baker signs major Massachusetts climate bill despite concerns over fossil fuel limits, other provisions

08/12/22
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, R, signed a major climate and clean energy bill on Thursday, despite previously expressing concerns over certain limits on fossil fuels, a lack of funding, and other issues.

Electric Car Shopping Tool

06/09/22
Explore car models and select the ones you're interested in. See local dealers offering the selected cars.

Actions for Energize Boxborough

06/09/22
Select one or more dropdowns to filter the list of Actions or just click on an Action button to learn more.

Building with Clean Energy

01/24/22
At the June 21 Acton, MA Town Meeting, the Building with Clean Energy warrant articles were approved by voters, representing a first step toward requiring that new construction and major (“gut”) renovation projects use clean…

A new bill could bulk up wind energy production in Massachusetts

01/19/22
Speaker of the House Ron Mariano said his top priority for the Legislature this year is wind energy. It's been a long time coming and it's shaping up to be a major piece of legislation,…

Markley Group Signs Power Purchase Agreement with Borrego for Electricity from Community Solar Projects in Massachusetts

01/19/22
Markley Group, a premier provider of mission-critical data center facilities, cloud computing, and network services, today announced it has entered a community solar power purchase agreement (PPA) advised by Atlas Retail Energy, with Borrego, a…

MA Groups: Time is Now to End Biomass Subsidies

01/18/22
Proposed legislation would end subsidies for wood-burning power plants in Massachusetts by removing biomass as an eligible fuel source for the Commonwealth's two primary clean-energy programs.

A Preview: Town of Medfield Climate Action Plan (TOMCAP)

01/18/22
Medfielders are invited to a virtual community forum on the Town of Medfield Climate Action Plan (TOMCAP) on Monday, January 31st at 7:30 p.m.

State grant will help Grafton replace vehicle, reduce diesel emissions

01/17/22
The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced grant awards for projects that will reduce the release of harmful diesel emissions into the atmosphere from vehicles across the commonwealth and help to accelerate the retirement of older, less…

Beacon Hill eyes utility charge to fuel offshore wind

01/13/22
House leaders are hoping to bring their offshore wind policy legislation to the floor for a vote “sooner rather than later,” Rep. Jeff Roy said Wednesday as he detailed the ways in which the bill…

Massachusetts to Support Offshore Wind Industry Development, Additional Offshore Wind Projects, Transmission, and Energy Storage

01/13/22
On January 12, 2022, The Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, & Energy reported H. 3310, An Act advancing offshore wind and clean energy. Although the bill focuses on development of the offshore wind…

Massachusetts awards $420K for water infrastructure

01/13/22
On Monday, Massachusetts announced it awarded more than $420,000 in grants to help 13 communities with water system interconnection and water mitigation projects.

Baker administration changes the rules on offshore wind and clean energy

01/12/22
Testifying before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy on behalf of his legislation that commits $750 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to invest in the clean energy industry, Gov. Charlie Baker…

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $2.655 Billion FY22 Capital Plan

06/14/21
The Baker-Polito Administration today announced its Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Capital Plan, a $2.655 billion plan that makes substantial investments in critical priorities including housing, transportation, climate resiliency, health and human services, and education to…

Governor Baker Signs Climate Legislation to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Protect Environmental Justice Communities

03/26/21
Governor Charlie Baker today signed comprehensive climate change legislation that codifies into law the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to achieve Net Zero emissions in 2050 and furthers the Commonwealth’s nation leading efforts to combat climate change…

New Bedford’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan

01/11/21
The City of New Bedford has launched NB Resilient - our plan to strengthen our community by preparing for the impacts of climate change. We will do this by building the knowledge and capacity of our entire…

Massachusetts 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap

12/30/20
A report commissioned by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to identify cost-effective and equitable strategies to ensure Massachusetts achieves net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Preparing for Climate Change in Massachusetts

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Massachusetts is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

UMass Climate Action Plan

03/20/19
In 2007, former UMass President Jack M. Wilson signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which committed the five UMass campuses to developing a plan for reaching carbon neutrality.

Boston’s 2019 Climate Action Plan

03/20/19
The 2019 Climate Action Plan update will be our most action-oriented update yet. The actions listed in our 2014 Climate Action Plan are still informing our team's work each day. But, this year’s update will emphasize a small…

Massachusetts Climate Action

03/20/19
Find detailed information on mitigation and adaptation plans as well as municipal programs. 

KEY RESOURCES

Massachusetts Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/11/22
Massachusetts was an early adopter of solar energy, a face which is evident when it comes to how much solar power the state is able to generate. Massachusetts is a national leader in solar power,…

MassDEP Commercial Organics Waste Disposal Ban

11/01/21
Effective November 1, 2022 Massachusetts businesses & institutions generating one-half ton of food material per week will be subject to this ban

Massachusetts State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/05/21
Massachusetts, home to almost half of New England's residents, is one of the most densely populated states in the nation. Most of the state's population resides in the eastern half of the state, particularly around…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Massachusetts

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Massachusetts experienced two severe storms and two winter storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Massachusetts

07/31/20
Massachusetts is vulnerable to increasing temperatures, floods and droughts, and coastal flooding. Massachusetts’s climate has already warmed by more than two degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. Increasing temperatures are causing spring to arrive earlier,…

Our Focus: Climate Change

03/05/20
We’re working towards a New England powered by affordable, homemade energy, with a thriving economy built on innovation and invention… a New England where our communities are healthy and safe and our environment fortified against…

Find the right solar system for you

02/27/20
mySolarCost is a free service that allows you to quickly and easily compare prices, features, and products from top solar providers and brands.

Renewable Energy Massachusetts LLC

02/27/20
Partnerships for solar energy development

Mass Renewables Clean Solar Energy

02/27/20
Our goal is to provide our community and beyond with a sustainable source of residential and commercial energy. We believe in thinking globally, acting locally, and making our world a better place to live. Mass Renewables Inc.…

Renewable Energy Snapshot

02/27/20
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources' Renewable Energy Division provides information regarding the different kinds of renewable energy, funding programs and incentives, installation assistance, and more available in Massachusetts. Types of renewable energy available in…

Mass Energize

01/31/22
MassEnergize works with community organizers and local leaders to scale household and community-level climate actions. Our work is based on the belief that household-level climate action, propelled at scale, is critical for reaching our climate…

MORE NEWS

Massachusetts climate chief calls for sweeping actions to reduce emissions

By Sam Drysdale   10/25/23  
Massachusetts needs to shift from an era of statewide planning for climate policy to the key details of implementing it, according to a new report from the state's top climate official, which includes sweeping recommendations…
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In the face of climate change, here’s how Mass. plans to handle growing severe weather threats

By Matt Fortin   10/23/23  
Extreme storms, inland flooding, rising heat and wildfires are all among the most significant hazards facing Massachusetts in the face of a changing climate, according to a sweeping new resiliency plan that calls for nearly…
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Massachusetts is drowning in single-use plastics. Why not ban them?

By Sabrina Shankman   10/18/23  
Every year, people in Massachusetts generate a mountain of plastic waste — 3.4 billion plastic bottles, 2 billion plastic bags, countless takeout containers, shampoo bottles, coffee cup lids, and on and on. Add everything up,…
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State outlines climate threats, possible responses

By Colin A. Young   10/13/23  
Fifty years from now, Massachusetts could see as much as 42% more winter precipitation, average summertime temperatures in line with North Carolina’s current climate, and a 4.3 feet rise in sea levels along the its…
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Massachusetts to ban state agencies from purchasing single-use plastic bottles, Healey announces

By Sabrina Shankman   09/18/23  
In a typical year, Massachusetts’ state agencies buy roughly 100,000 plastic bottles — water, sodas, you name it. Like other plastic items, these bottles are made from fossil fuels and create climate-warming emissions both when…
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Climate change will make today’s unprecedented floods look like the good old days

By Mathew Barlow and Juliette N. Rooney-Varga   09/15/23  
The devastating floods in Leominster and surrounding communities hit home for New Englanders this week. After about 10 inches of rainfall in a single day, communities are reeling from damaged roads, schools, homes, and more.…
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Leominster mayor says damage from devastating storm could total ‘$25 to $35 million’

By Emily Sweeney   09/14/23  
The mayor of Leominster Thursday said the damage from Monday’s devastating storm, which caused roads to collapse and left much of the city’s downtown underwater, could run to $35 million.
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Leominster assesses the damage after ‘catastrophic’ floods

By John Hilliard, Emily Sweeney and Shannon Larson   09/12/23  
The day after torrential rain caused “catastrophic” flooding in this central Massachusetts city, washing out roads and train tracks and leaving much of the downtown underwater, officials rushed to shore up dams threatened by the…
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Here’s how climate change is making flooding events more likely

By Tevin Wooten   09/12/23  
Even going into Monday’s extreme rain, soil moistures were already high. Summer 2023 was a banner year for rainfall. Nearby Worcester, Massachusetts, has its second wettest summer on record, at more than ten inches beyond…
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Is the Massachusetts Constitution a Tool for Climate Change?

By Burns & Levinson and Gail Magenau Hire   09/08/23  
After Held v. Montana was decided, and I read Peter Vetere’s blog post, I’ve been thinking about the Massachusetts Constitution. Would Massachusetts’ youth have similar success arguing for a guaranteed safe, clean environment? With students…
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Lobstermen Face Hypoxia in Outer Cape Waters

By Georgia Hall   09/04/23  
Alex Iacono, a lobsterman who says he favors lobsters and ocean solitude over people, is worried about the future of his business. Iacono, who lives in Truro and fishes out of Provincetown on the F/V…
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Warmer Waters Put Sea Turtles on a Collision Course With Humans

By Georgia Hall   08/31/23  
Rising North Atlantic Ocean temperatures are causing increased numbers of threatened and endangered sea turtles to migrate through Massachusetts waters — heading north in search of food, then back south to their breeding grounds.
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In the waters off Massachusetts, a hunt for foreign ships building wind farms

By Thomas Lee   08/19/23  
In the waters off Massachusetts, a hunt for foreign ships building wind farmsDomestic manufacturing group eyes Vineyard Wind for violations of the century-old Jones Act, and why that matters for clean energy jobs in New…
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Tornadoes, flash flooding reported as powerful storms move through southern New England

By Steve Bottari   08/18/23  
The NWS confirmed tornadoes that a tornado touched down in North Attleboro and Mansfield, Massachusetts. Another tornado was confirmed in Weymouth. The NWS was assessing damage in Scituate, Rhode Island, to see if a tornado…
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Massachusetts needs more EV chargers — wicked badly

By Aaron Pressman   08/11/23  
Massachusetts will need to dramatically increase the number of public EV charging stations in the state — at a cost in the billions of dollars — if it is to achieve its climate goals of…
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Devastated farms tally losses from Western Mass. flooding

By Sarah Raza and Brian MacQuarrie   07/19/23  
The four brothers who run the Teddy C. Smiarowski Farm should be celebrating the centennial anniversary of the Pioneer Valley farm worked by their family for generations. Instead, they are tallying the damage from last…
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Massachusetts is building a green economy, but does it have the workers to do so?

By Aruni Soni   07/19/23  
It’s going to take 38,100 workers to help Massachusetts transition to a clean energy state. That’s according to a report published Wednesday by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a quasi-public agency that supports the…
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The dam near Montpelier held. As climate change brings stronger storms, experts fear many won’t.

By Sabrina Shankman   07/15/23  
As record rain pounded Montpelier for the second day and rivers raged far beyond their banks early last week, city leaders and first responders were awake deep into the night, huddled around a police station…
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As the climate changes, obsolete dams put Mass. at risk for flooding similar to Vermont

By Craig LeMoult and Casey Choung   07/14/23  
With flooding in Western Massachusetts, Vermont and New York following recent torrential downpours, experts say thousands of obsolete and often crumbling dams across Massachusetts puts the state at increased risk. That risk only grows, they…
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Meteorologist on receiving death threats over his climate crisis reports

07/08/23  
Some scientists believe that July 4th may have been one of the hottest days on Earth in 125,000 years, and we keep breaking these records. The earth’s average temperature set a new unofficial record on…
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A Giant Wind Farm Is Taking Root Off Massachusetts

By Stanley Reed and Ivan Penn   06/27/23  
On a chilly June day, with the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard just over the distant horizon, a low-riding, green-hulled vessel finished hammering a steel column nearly 100 feet into the bottom of the Atlantic…
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For the wind farm industry in Mass., it’s back to square two

By Jon Chesto   06/25/23  
Blades as long as football fields are arriving on New Bedford’s waterfront. Foundations for the first three skyscraper-sized towers were just installed at the bottom of the sea south of Martha’s Vineyard. And a transmission…
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Umbrellas made from found plastic? One Mass. entrepreneur is giving it a try

By Hannah Nguyen   06/23/23  
It was a not-so-pleasant experience with an old umbrella that inspired Deirdre Horan to create a new kind of umbrella. On her way to work in Boston in 2018, Horan’s umbrella flipped inside out and…
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Healey announces a new green bank to fund climate-friendly affordable housing

By Sabrina Shankman   06/13/23  
A new bank established by the state will provide loans to make affordable housing more climate-friendly, Governor Maura Healey announced Tuesday. The new Massachusetts Community Climate Bank will be the nation’s first green bank dedicated…
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Healey administration extends pause on state forest logging contracts for 6 more months

By Sam Hudzik   06/08/23  
Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey's administration says it will continue a pause on new logging contracts in state forests for another six months, as officials look to develop guidelines that more fully acknowledge the role of…
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Vineyard Wind puts ‘steel in the water’

By Benjamin Storrow   06/08/23  
The country's first major offshore wind project began installing turbine foundations Wednesday, marking a significant milestone for the U.S. offshore wind industry.
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New study questions renewable policies’ impact on energy costs

By Grace Zokovitch   06/07/23  
Renewable energy policies in New England are driving up energy costs in the region, according to a report by the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance released Wednesday.
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More climate change education legislation in Massachusetts

06/05/23  
A pair of identical bills in the Massachusetts legislature, House Bill 3887 and Senate Bill 260, would require environmental science and environmental protection standards to "promote an understanding of climate change including, but not limited…
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‘This is Boston’s big challenge’: A new plan to defend downtown against sea-level rise

By Catherine Carlock   06/02/23  
New decks and docks would elevate a mile and a half of Boston’s waterfront, protecting downtown from devastating floods. Flood-storage tanks would be built underneath buildings that sit atop pilings, to gather runoff during storms.…
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Orsted to buy out wind farm seabed rights from Eversource Energy

05/25/23  
Orsted A/S, one of the world’s largest developers of offshore wind energy, announced Thursday that it had agreed to buy the interests of its partner Eversource Energy LLC for the uncontracted federal offshore wind lease…
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Mass. Climate Advocates Want Polluters to Pay for Resilience

05/22/23  
Massachusetts legislators and climate advocates called for a billion-dollar fine on the country’s largest carbon-polluting companies.
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Why Massachusetts homes face a growing risk of flooding

By Jesse Steinmetz   05/12/23  
A new report finds Massachusetts storms have grown in frequency and severity since the early 1900s. The number of intense, two-day storms has increased by 74% — and that means many homes are becoming more…
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As climate change fuels fiercer rains, a new report on 2010 Massachusetts floods sends a dire warning

By Sabrina Shankman   05/10/23  
The condo Casey Chaffin shared with her mother in Clinton is near the Wachusett Reservoir, but along a gentle slope where flooding has never been a problem. Importantly, the neighborhood is not on government maps…
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Neighborhoods in Mass. could get more shade from trees under new climate bill

By Alison Kuznitz   05/05/23  
Tree canopies shading Massachusetts cities and towns could grow dramatically, particularly in environmental justice communities where there's currently scant coverage, under a legislative proposal to launch a municipal reforestation program.
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Massachusetts prepares to launch new electric vehicle rebates early this summer

By Sarah Shemkus   04/26/23  
State officials have blamed funding and logistical obstacles for delaying the rollout of the new incentives that were created as part of a 2022 state climate law. Massachusetts prepares to launch new electric vehicle rebates…
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New Massachusetts climate change program to help municipalities

By Brent Addleman   04/19/23  
Climate resiliency is the focus of a new program in Massachusetts. The Climate Resiliency Program was launched Wednesday, Gov. Maura Healey said, that will allow cities and towns to update and put their climate resiliency…
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In bid to renew license, Mass. renewable energy provider promises improved fish passage, water flow

By Adam Frenier   04/05/23  
The operator of hydropower generating equipment on the Connecticut River in Franklin County has reached a key agreement in its bid to receive a license renewal from federal officials. The facilities include the Northfield Mountain…
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More bus garage delays and blown budgets put T fleet electrification goal in doubt

By Taylor Dolven   04/03/23  
The MBTA is staring down two climate goals: electrify nearly 30 percent of its bus fleet by 2028 and 100 percent by 2040. The latter is a legal obligation, and the former is a self-imposed…
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‘Heat-pump coaches’ help neighbors ditch fossil heat in Massachusetts

By Alison F. Takemura   03/29/23  
Since 2020, at least 14 heat-pump coaching programs have sprung up in the state, all with the aim of making it easier to adopt the increasingly popular appliance.
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Inside the crazy, mixed-up world of electric-vehicle charger pricing

By Aaron Pressman   03/26/23  
Electric vehicle adoption is booming, even as the state is far behind in its plans to reduce carbon emissions from cars and trucks. But charging outside of the home is the Achilles heel of the…
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How Massachusetts’ new DEP commissioner will bring ‘transparency and equity’ to the agency

By Dharna Noor   03/26/23  
Bonnie Heiple, the state’s new Department of Environmental Protection commissioner, has a formidable job: administering Massachusetts’ regulatory programs for air, water, and land use, all while prioritizing climate change and environmental justice.
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Following a dismal global climate report, could Massachusetts push up its net-zero goal?

By Sabrina Shankman and Emma Platoff   03/21/23  
An alarming new report on climate change, which prompted the UN secretary general to urge developed nations to move up the target for largely ending the use of fossil fuels by a full decade, raises…
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Boston’s Mayor Wants To Adopt Climate-Friendly Building Code

By Carolyn Fortuna   03/21/23  
Boston’s pending green building code is an important element of many challenges that Wu will need to solve for Boston’s Green New Deal to become a truly just recovery.
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Climate activists in Boston call on big banks divest from fossil fuel companies

By Paula Moura   03/21/23  
Climate activists took to the streets of Boston’s financial district to demand banks stop investing in fossil fuel companies. The protest was one of more than 100 around the country organized by Third Act, a…
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Education is missing from Massachusetts’ climate plans, advocates say

By Dharna Noor   03/17/23  
Gabriella Coletta, Boston City councilor for District 1, has been passionate about fighting climate change since the sixth grade. Back then, her teacher organized a special unit at Mario Umana Academy in East Boston focused…
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With new commissioners, Healey aims to reshape an agency seen as critical to climate reforms

By Sabrina Shankman   03/17/23  
They could seem the most bureaucratic of appointments, just a few of several that Governor Maura Healey has made since settling into office. But her administration is casting her two climate-friendly nominees to help lead…
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Education is missing from Massachusetts’ climate plans, advocates say

By Dharna Noor   03/17/23  
Gabriella Coletta, Boston City councilor for District 1, has been passionate about fighting climate change since the sixth grade. Back then, her teacher organized a special unit at Mario Umana Academy in East Boston focused…
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Massachusetts’ first climate chief, Northeastern graduate plans to make the state a model for reducing carbon emissions

By Cynthia McCormick Hibbert   03/15/23  
Massachusetts’ first climate chief Melissa Hoffer is a 1998 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law. Hoffer, who was appointed by Gov. Maura Healey, talked with Northeastern Global News about her job, her experience at…
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Yes, this winter has been warmer than usual — and we may have to get used to that

By Simón Rios   03/09/23  
At the Blue Hill Weather Observatory and Science Center, the highest point in Greater Boston, Don McCasland pointed to a long white board on the ground used to measure snow accumulation throughout the season. McCasland…
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‘A defining issue of our time’: Massachusetts’ first-ever climate chief is bringing an all-of-government approach to climate change

By Sabrina Shankman   03/09/23  
Melissa Hoffer’s job is unprecedented. As Governor Maura Healey’s new climate chief, she is taking on a role that is not only a first in Massachusetts but in the country as well: a Cabinet-level post…
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