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Baker Order Outlines Greenhouse Gas Requirements For State Agencies

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks to press at the Hynes Convention Center FEMA Mass Vaccination Site on March 30, 2021 in Boston. (Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images)
Gov. Charlie Baker speaks to press at the Hynes Convention Center FEMA Mass Vaccination Site on March 30, 2021 in Boston. (Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

An executive order Gov. Charlie Baker signed on Thursday directs state agencies to take a suite of steps aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting energy resilience, including requiring all state fleets to buy zero-emission vehicles starting next year and doubling the number of electric vehicle charging stations at state facilities by 2030.

Baker's office said the order, the text of which was not immediately available Thursday afternoon, also requires "all new construction at state agencies and campuses to meet stringent energy performance standards, install high efficiency heating and cooling systems, and meet DOER's new Specialized Stretch Energy Code when it is promulgated" and establishes "specific and measurable emission reduction targets associated with building and vehicle fossil fuels consumed by state entities."

Baker signed the order from the Massachusetts Emergency Management bunker in Framingham to mark Earth Week. The MEMA bunker, according to Baker's office, "features a comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy project completed in 2020." That project, partially funded through the Department of Energy Resources Leading by Example program, includes a state-owned 275-kilowatt parking lot solar canopy.

Through the Leading By Example program, state entities have collectively reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 35% from a 2004 baseline, Baker's office said.

Baker's new order, titled "Leading by Example: Decarbonizing and Minimizing Environmental Impacts of State Government," also requires state agencies to incorporate emissions reduction strategies into all their budgetary and planning efforts, and to appoint Leading by Example coordinators to support the order's goals.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said in a statement that the order "will make our state government more sustainable, resilient, and lead to environmental benefits in cities and towns throughout Massachusetts."

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