Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed an executive order last week directing state agencies to take steps to ensure the state reaches its 2020 emissions reductions goals, study the state’s vulnerability, and plan proactively for climate mitigation.
Baker called the order “an important step to protect public health and safety, local infrastructure, small businesses, and our state’s abundant natural resources” from climate change.
“Combatting and preparing for the impacts of climate change will require a holistic approach across state and local government and collaboration with stakeholders from all corners of the Commonwealth,” he said in a statement.
Earlier this year, a court found the state failed to put in place regulations that would enable it to achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. In 2050, emissions are to be reduced by 80 percent. The state legislature passed the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008.
“The purpose of [the law] is to attain actual, measurable, and permanent emission reductions in the Commonwealth, and… to ensure that legally mandated reductions are realized by the 2020 deadline,” Justice Robert J. Cordy wrote at the time. The court ordered the state to address these regulations.