Massachusetts: Emissions and Emissions Reduction Targets

SOURCE: ENE analysis using EPA State Inventory Tool and State Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets

This chart shows state emissions trends (historical and projected) and emissions reduction targets, offering a picture of Massachusetts’s progress to date.

This chart shows total greenhouse gas emissions by sector, and tracks emissions trends in Massachusetts from 1990 through 2010.

This chart presents Massachusetts’s generation mix in 2001 and 2011, and clearly illustrates a shift toward natural gas and away from coal and petroleum.

Total state emissions have declined in the last decade, but transportation emissions have remained relatively high and now make up a larger percentage overall.

This chart compares motor gasoline emissions to forest sequestration in 2000 and 2010 to demonstrate how forests can offset emissions in other sectors.

All eight northeastern states have emissions reduction targets. In order to compare emissions trends with long-term targets, ENE extended EPA State Inventory Tool emissions projections out to 2050. According to ENE analysis and inventory data, Massachusetts is not on track to meet its 2020 or 2050 targets if current emissions trends continue.

As part of ClimateVision 2020, ENE completed comprehensive greenhouse gas inventories for the eight northeastern states. Massachusetts’s total emissions have declined in recent years, particularly in the electric power sector. Massachusetts’s in-state generation portfolio has shifted over the last decade. Natural gas and renewables make up a larger percentage of the portfolio mix in 2011 relative to 2001, while the proportion of coal and petroleum declined. This shift in generation sources is largely responsible for declining electric power emissions. Transportation continues to be the largest emitting sector, and it has not decreased in step with declines in overall state emissions.

The carbon dioxide removed and stored by forests each year fluctuates according to harvest practices and changes in land use. While Massachusetts forests remove a large amount of carbon dioxide (over 6 MMTCO2e in 2010) the state’s relatively high transportation emissions mean only 25% of motor gasoline emissions were offset.