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.



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Building with Clean Energy

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UMass Climate Action Plan

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

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

Find detailed information on mitigation and adaptation plans as well as municipal programs. 


Massachusetts Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

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,…

Mass Energize

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…

MassDEP Commercial Organics Waste Disposal Ban

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

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

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

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

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

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

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

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

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

Partnerships for solar energy development

Mass Renewables Clean Solar Energy

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

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…


New noaa climate projections forecast increase in southern new england flooding

By Frank Carini   03/23/22  
The climate crisis has taken root. The United Nations’ latest climate report explains how deep this worldwide problem is embedded. Closer to home, another report published last month is equally alarming, for the present and…

Republicans threaten EPA authority via SCOTUS while UN warns against inaction

By Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.)   02/28/22  
U.N. report finds nations not acting fast enough to protect populations from current and future climate threats, as the Supreme Court takes up case that threatens the EPA’s authority to regulate pollution

The Old Man and the Tree

By Jonny Diamond  Photo: David Degner   01/25/22  
I meet Bob Leverett in a small gravel parking lot at the end of a quiet residential road in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. We are at the Ice Glen trailhead, half a mile from a Mobil station,…

Mass Audubon gets $200,000 in ARPA money to help repair damage to Pleasant Valley after microburst windstorm

By Clarence Fanto   01/19/22  
After a devastating microburst windstorm in July, ongoing restoration at Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary has received a $200,000 boost from ARPA, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act approved by Congress and signed…

Great white sharks have been a major focus along Cape Cod. More tiger sharks could be coming soon because of climate change

By Rick Sobey  Photo: Bianca Rangel   01/17/22  
Move over, great white sharks. A new apex predator could be patrolling the Cape soon, as tiger sharks migrate farther north each year because of climate change and warmer oceans.

Mass., New England seen as a kind of ground zero in climate fight

Photo: David L. Ryan   01/17/22  
Re “A changing New England warming faster” (Page A1, Dec. 31): Northeasterners know the frigid chill they feel in the morning air in January. Although we complain about the cold, the changing seasons are a…

Massachusetts Is Getting Over $1 Billion To Improve Highway Bridges In Poor And Fair Condition

By CBS Boston Staff   01/14/22  
More than $1 billion in federal funding will flow into Massachusetts over the next five years to upgrade thousands of highway bridges across the state that are in need of improvements.

Moving From One Energy Source To Another, Massachusetts Coast Will Prioritize Wind And Fishing Industries To Survive

By Joyce Doherty   01/12/22  
The South Coast has powered Massachusetts for what seems like forever. While the whaling port was not developed until the mid-17th century, the height of the industry attracted people from all over, for a job…

Last year was the third-warmest on record in Massachusetts

By Paul Tuthill   01/11/22  
Massachusetts had its third-warmest and ninth-wettest year on record. All other Northeast states landed in the top five when it came to highest average annual temperature, according to the Climate System Research Center at the…

2021 was Massachusetts’ third-warmest year since 1895

By Danny Jin   01/10/22  
In Western Massachusetts, the average temperature in 2021 was the second warmest on record, according to data from the National Centers for Environmental Information and the Northeast Regional Climate Center.

Candidates in Mass. governor’s race are running on climate

By Dharna Noor  Photo: Jonathan Wiggs   01/06/22  
The Massachusetts gubernatorial election is just under a year away, but climate policy is already shaping up to be a key part of the race, with Democratic hopefuls issuing climate plans long before voters head…

How Massachusetts wins the fight against climate change

By Sonia Chang-Diaz   01/04/22  
We pay a lot of lip service to young people in politics. Politicians and elected officials are prone to talking about how much youth inspire us, how they’re the future for our state and our…

Mass. advances solar projects after climate complaints

By David Laconangelo  Photo: Scholten Singer , AP   01/04/22  
The expansion was initially announced in July 2020, when utility regulators at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) said the state would double the size of a landmark solar incentive program known as SMART…

Massachusetts’ biggest climate wins and losses of 2021

By Sabrina Shankman, Janelle Nanos, David Abel and Dharna Noor   01/02/22  
It was a year of head-spinning climate news: Massachusetts endured extreme weather, in the form of a scorching June and a sopping July. Lawmakers signed landmark climate legislation that commits the state to net-zero carbon…

New England is warming faster than the rest of the planet, new study finds

By David Abel  Photo: Ron Garan , Nasa File   12/30/21  
New England is warming significantly faster than global average temperatures, and that rate is expected to accelerate as more greenhouse gases are pumped into the atmosphere and dangerous cycles of warming exacerbate climate change, according…

In a record-breaking year of weather, signs of a changed world

By Sabrina Shankman  Photo: Luke Sharrett , Bloomberg   12/28/21  
Sometimes climate change is measured in numbers — degrees warmed, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, extreme highs, acres burned. Sometimes it’s measured in memories — of long-ago December mornings, when the temperature often dipped down…

Inside Clean Energy: Here Are 5 States that Took Leaps on Clean Energy Policy in 2021

By Dan Gearino  Photo: Scott Olson , Getty Images   12/23/21  
It’s understandable if people are feeling dour during this unseasonably warm December when, once again, the U.S. Congress has failed to pass major climate legislation.

After years of doubts, hopes grow that nuclear fusion is finally for real and could help address climate change

By David Abel   12/22/21  
It’s been compared to everything from a holy grail to fool’s gold: the ultimate solution to clean, readily available energy or an expensive delusion diverting scarce money and brainpower from the urgent needs of rapidly…

Massachusetts to receive $800 million to improve infrastructure and climate in the first round of federal funding

By Douglas Hook  Photo: Douglas Hook , Masslive   12/21/21  
As part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Massachusetts will receive $804.6 million to improve roads, promote safety, and reduce pollution.

Groups urge bigger targets, more equity as RGGI states consider changes

By Lisa Prevost   12/21/21  
As the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, undergoes a thorough review by participating states, environmental advocates are demanding more ambitious emission reduction targets and a mandate for equitable distribution of the revenues.

California Cities Lead Nation in Clean Energy, New Report Finds

By Madeline Fitzgerald  Photo: Andrew Zarivny , Shutterstock   12/16/21  
San Francisco leads the nation in clean energy and other environmental initiatives, according to a report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

With first official ordinance, Mayor Wu divests Boston from fossil fuels

By Sabrina Shankman  Photo: David L. Ryan/Globe Staff   11/22/21  
Mayor Michelle Wu of Boston signed a measure to divest city funds from the fossil fuel industry on Monday, adding Boston to the small number of major US cities that have taken the step to…

In the void of national climate legislation, locals lead the way

By Sabrina Shankman  Photo: Jessica Rinaldi , Globe Staff   11/09/21  
In Washington, D.C., it feels tenuous. In Glasgow, it’s falling short. But when it comes to climate action, not all is lost. Just look at the local level.

After Maine voters reject transmission line to Massachusetts, a lawsuit is filed and uncertainty reigns

By Sabrina Shankman  Photo: Robert F. Bukaty/associated Press   11/03/21  
The day after Maine voters passed a referendum to reject a transmission line that would bring hydroelectric power from Canada to Massachusetts, one of the companies behind the project sued to overturn the vote. The…

What Is the Best Solar Company in Massachusetts?

By Karsten Neumeister  Photo: Khoblaun / iStock / Getty Images   10/31/21  
Are you a homeowner in the Bay State looking to take advantage of the benefits of solar energy? You may be wondering how to find the best solar companies in Massachusetts. Sifting through lists of…

Hundreds of thousands of power outages remain on chilly night

By John R. Ellement and others  Photo: Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff   10/28/21  
More than 180,000 Massachusetts electric customers, mostly on the South Shore and Cape Cod, were still without power as temperatures dropped Thursday night and restoration efforts continued after Wednesday’s nasty nor’easter. Utility companies were only…

The storm that’s lashing Mass. underwent ‘bombogenesis.’ What’s that?

By Martin Finucane  Photo: GOES/NOAA   10/27/21  
The strong coastal storm that whipped up so much wind, knocking out power to nearly half a million electric customers in Massachusetts by Wednesday morning, underwent “bombogenesis,” according to forecasters. What’s that? A storm undergoes…

Report: Municipal utilities are falling short of Massachusetts’ clean energy targets

By Sarah Shemkus  Photo: Paul Cooper , Creative Commons   10/22/21  
Massachusetts’ municipal power companies are making uneven progress in sourcing renewable energy and promoting energy efficiency, according to a report released last month by a statewide climate action group.

The state asked for a blueprint of a gas-free future. Why are the utilities writing the first draft?

By Sabrina Shankman  Photo: Jessica Rinaldi   10/14/21  
Looking ahead to a future when fossil fuels must be almost entirely removed from everyday life, Massachusetts last year made what would seem a sensible move: It launched a formal effort to plot the organized…

As Massachusetts envisions a fossil fuel-free future, gas companies are quietly investing billions in pipelines

By Sabrina Shankman  Photo: Mark Lorenz for the Boston Globe/file   10/03/21  
More than 21,000 miles of aging gas pipelines lie under the streets in Massachusetts, nearly enough to encircle the earth. When researchers began discovering about a decade ago that tens of thousands of leaks across…

Massachusetts utilities propose plans to ramp up electric vehicle infrastructure

By Sarah Shemkus  Photo: Credit: Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection   09/21/21  
Clean transportation advocates are declaring measured support for Massachusetts electric utilities’ proposals to spend $470 million on programs to help the state reach its ambitious goals for electrifying transportation over the next decade.

Legislators to consider bills on climate change, energy

The Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture will hold a hearing Wednesday on climate change and energy bills. Among the items on the docket is from Rep. Josh Cutler, D-Pembroke, which would…

Massachusetts had the second warmest August and warmest minimum temperatures on record this summer

By Cassie McGrath   09/10/21  
Massachusetts had the second warmest August and the warmest minimum temperatures this summer on record, according monthly summary data released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

Heat pumps could be key to fighting climate change, but how? We answer your burning questions

By Sabrina Shankman  Photo: Ryan Huddle   08/25/21  
Massachusetts has sworn to get 1 million homes and other buildings off fossil fuel by the end of the decade, a target made even more urgent by recent revelations that the climate is in worse…

Massachusetts may break record for wettest summer, a hallmark of climate change, experts say

By Cassie McGrath   08/25/21  
Communities across Massachusetts are approaching records for the wettest summer to date. With less than a week to go in August, Boston has seen the fifth wettest summer on record with 19.47 inches of rain.…

Cities use art to combat extreme urban heat

By Kat Friedrich   08/23/21  
As U.S. cities struggle to cope with scorching temperatures in urban heat zones that have been worsened by climate change, a Boston-based regional planning group is encouraging communities to use art in their cooling measures and…

Towns Trying to Ban Natural Gas Face Resistance in Their Push for All-Electric Homes

By Katherine Blunt  Photo: Lane Turner , Getty Images   07/31/21  
Massachusetts is emerging as a key battleground in the U.S. fight over whether to phase out natural gas for home cooking and heating, with fears of unknown costs and unfamiliar technologies fueling much of the opposition to…

Worcester County raised scientist Jill Pelto uses art to shed light on climate change

By Nicole Nelson   07/18/21  
“When you first meet Jill, you don’t see all of her,” says Lynne Pelto, the stepmother of climate change artist Jill Pelto. “You really need to spend some time with her to get to know…

The Peabody Essex Museum’s Climate + Environment Initiative Seeks to Create a Different Climate Future

By Jane Winchell  Photo: Ken Sawyer , PEM   07/16/21  
As the director of an interactive art and nature space, I’ve included climate change as a topic in many shows and programs over the years. But until recently, I had convinced myself that focusing an…

Massachusetts’ ambitious climate law facing first tests

By Steve Leblanc   06/30/21  
Massachusetts has turned a critical corner in its response to climate change. A sweeping law signed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker with muted pandemic fanfare back in March officially took effect late last week, 90…

Can Land Conservation and Dual-Use Solar on Farms Coexist?

By Lisa Held   06/29/21  
Most Massachusetts residents agree on the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis. But when it comes to the question of solar development, they’re much less aligned. While some believe the state is blazing a…

House introduces bill to compel Harvard to divest of fossil fuels

By Kate Lusignan  Photo: Keith Bedford/Globe Staff   06/28/21  
Progressive Massachusetts lawmakers aligned with climate activists are trying something new to combat climate change: using their legislative power to force one of the country’s most famous institutions to divest its sizable investments in the…

Exxon must face Massachusetts lawsuit alleging climate change deceit

By Jonathan Stempel  Photo: Sergio Moraes , Reuters   06/24/21  
A Massachusetts state judge has rejected Exxon Mobil Corp's (XOM.N) bid to dismiss a lawsuit by state Attorney General Maura Healey accusing the oil company of misleading consumers and investors about its role in climate…

Boston’s ‘heat islands’ turn lower-income neighborhoods from hot to insufferable

By David Abel  Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff   06/22/21  
Three years ago, after city officials repeatedly promised that a traffic project in the heart of their neighborhood would create significantly more green space, they left Jamaica Plain residents with more concrete and asphalt. In…

Data from the recent heat wave reveal troubling trends

By Sabrina Shankman  Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg   06/20/21  
When smothering heat and humidity overtake the cool of spring, a familiar quest for relief begins, usually a trek to the basement or attic to dig out the window unit that’s been dormant all winter,…

No justification for proposed Peabody gas plant

By Sarah Dooling   06/19/21  
Municipal Wholesale Electric Company and the staff at some participating municipal light plants say that building a new, 60-megawatt combined natural gas and oil peaker power plant in Peabody is absolutely necessary.

‘By design or neglect’: Flood, climate hazards threaten MA’s redlined neighborhoods

By Hadley Barndollar   06/17/21  
 In the Germantown neighborhood, nearly 900 public housing units cover the peninsula jutting out into Quincy Bay.

Chelsea Residents Already Fight For Clean Air, Green Space — And Now, Protection From Rising Seas

By Roseann Bongiovanni  Photo: Ibrahim Lopez-Hernandez , Green Roots   06/17/21  
At almost any protest, that’s a common chant; but in environmental justice communities, it’s a daily mantra. Fresh air, clean water and healthy green space are commonplace in many communities, but not for most low-income…

‘By design or neglect’: Flood, climate hazards threaten MA’s redlined neighborhoods

By Hadley Barndollar  Photo: Hadley Barndollar , USA Today Network   06/17/21  
In the Germantown neighborhood, nearly 900 public housing units cover the peninsula jutting out into Quincy Bay.

What Boston’s Stormwater System Has To Do With Climate Change

By WBUR Newsroom  Photo: Jesse Costa , WBUR   06/17/21  
The Department of Justice is carrying forward a Trump Administration request that the Supreme Court reinstate Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarvaev's death sentence. Joining us to discuss is Massachusetts Rep. Stephen Lynch.