Governor’s Net Zero Commitment Makes Massachusetts a Climate Leader Again

Statement by Ken Kimmell, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Jan 22, 2020

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (January 21, 2020)—With Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's announcement this evening, Massachusetts has become the third state to pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This commitment is legally binding under the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act. To reach net zero, heat-trapping gases from power plants, vehicles, industrial processes and other sources will need to dramatically decline, and those that remain would need to be absorbed by wetlands and other “carbon dioxide sinks,” or offset by activities such as planting trees.

Below is a statement by Union of Concerned Scientists President Ken Kimmell:

“The Union of Concerned Scientists applauds the Baker administration for committing the commonwealth to this vitally necessary, science-based target. The world’s leading scientists have concluded that all countries need to reach net zero emissions by mid-century to prevent runaway climate change, and Massachusetts has set an example for all to follow.

“The path to net zero will not be easy and will require the commonwealth to focus on emission sources that are difficult to address, particularly transportation, which now is responsible for over half of Massachusetts’ emissions. But the commonwealth will also reap benefits from clean energy innovation, cleaner air and jobs in the fastest growing sector of our economy, and these benefits will far exceed the costs.

“The Union of Concerned Scientists stands ready to help the commonwealth meet this goal.”