Carbon Pricing Leadership in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) is a founding member of a new coalition, the Massachusetts Campaign for a Clean Energy Future. Together with allies in environmental, business, labor, faith, health and civic groups across the state, MCAN is working to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by taxing those who emit CO2.
We all know that climate change is the greatest environmental threat facing our planet. Massachusetts has committed to cutting the state’s climate change pollution to scientifically acceptable levels.
There is widespread consensus that the most effective way to make deeper cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and speed the transition to a clean energy economy is to require that all fossil fuels have a charge or permit fee added to their prices, in proportion to their GHG emissions.
Campaign for a Clean Energy Future Goals
- Win a new state policy to reduce carbon pollution and make real progress combating climate change
- Maximize economic progress by returning money to Massachusetts residents and businesses
- Ensure that low/moderate income residents benefit from the program
- Accelerate the growth of the Commonwealth’s clean energy sector
- Keep more of our state’s energy dollars local rather than allow all of the $20 billion we spend on energy imports every year leave the state economy
Building from Massachusetts Climate History
To address the climate crisis that leaves Massachusetts vulnerable to extreme weather, health damage, and rising sea levels, the state legislature enacted the Global Warming Solutions Act in 2008. To keep us on a steady pace of reducing the pollution that causes climate change, the law mandates 25% reduction of carbon pollution by 2025 and deeper reductions by the middle of the century.
Are We on Track?
Not yet. Recent assessments show that Massachusetts has reduced its carbon pollution 11% from its 1990 levels, but unless we implement new tools and systems, we won’t reach a 25% reduction by 2025 or 80% by 2050.
Lessons Learned: British Columbia
In 2008, the province of British Columbia passed a new policy establishing a tax on carbon pollution. Since then, their fuel use has dropped 16%, their clean-tech economic sector has grown by 50%, and their economy is outperforming all other provinces in Canada. Additionally, the tax is revenue-neutral, allowing BC to cut income and corporate taxes to offset carbon tax revenue – BC residents now pay the lowest income tax in Canada!
Read more here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2014/07/british-columbias-carbon-tax
Policies Pending in Massachusetts
Two bills addressing carbon pricing have been assigned to the Joint Committee on Telecommunication, Utilities and Energy: S.1747, “An Act Combatting Climate Change” (link to bill - https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S1747) and S.1786, “An Act to protect our environment and reduce the carbon footprint of the commonwealth” (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S1786)
What YOU Can Do:
Help Massachusetts take the next step in climate leadership by contacting Governor Baker in support of establishing a state level price on carbon.
Join a local MCAN chapter and get involved in the fight against climate change!