April 23, 2012
MassINC is proud to present Rising to the Challenge, the first independent assessment of state action on climate change since the precedent-setting Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008.
Climate change is the challenge of our age. For the obvious reason – failing to respond could alter the environment with profound and dire consequences – but also because it is a critical test of government’s ability to accomplish something complex for the common good. As this report shows, Massachusetts has been a true laboratory of democracy on this issue. Working across agencies, across levels of government, and across state and national boundaries, we have put in place an array of sophisticated programs and policies to curb our greenhouse gas emissions without inhibiting economic growth or degrading our quality of life. Our progress to date is truly astounding.
Yet with any undertaking of this magnitude and difficulty, it is inevitable that we will run into stumbling blocks. This report catalogs the challenges we are likely to face and demonstrates that there is more work to do to meet the reduction targets the state is legally obligated to achieve. Overcoming these obstacles will require deep public commitment and resolve.
Toward that end, this report seeks to make a contribution by describing the various threads of our policy, and the choices and tradeoffs we will face in the coming years as we weave them into an effective response. We hope that this study provides a resource for civic leaders working to inform and engage residents on these important issues.
We thank the many advisors who contributed to this project by offering their guidance, ideas, and critiques. While they are too numerous to name individually, we are extraordinarily grateful for their time and insight. We would also like to express our gratitude to our partners at the Clean Energy States Alliance. The extreme dedication of Warren Leon and his colleagues are evidenced in this thorough and thoughtful analysis.
MassINC’s mission is to provide solid, objective research to inform critical policy debates. We hope you find Rising to the Challenge a provocative and timely resource. As always, we welcome your feedback and invite you to become more involved in our work. Send us an email, or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.