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Baker Creates Clean Heat Commission To Help Cut Emissions

Gov. Charlie Baker during a June press conference. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Gov. Charlie Baker during a June press conference. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order Monday creating what he described as a first-in-the-nation “Commission on Clean Heat” to help craft policies to reduce heating fuel emissions in Massachusetts.

The task of the commission is to establish a heating fuel framework to help the state meet a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

The commission will be charged with developing policy recommendations to accelerate energy efficiency programs and to install clean heating systems in new and existing buildings. It will also address transitioning existing distribution systems to clean energy.

The panel’s focus will include financing mechanisms, incentives and other options including a framework for a cap on greenhouse gas emissions from heating fuels.

Baker said the 23-member commission will provide him with a set of policy recommendations by Nov. 30, 2022 that will reduce the use of heating fuels and minimize emissions from the building sector while ensuring costs and opportunities from such reductions are distributed equitably.

“By soliciting the expertise of leaders with a variety of perspectives, including the affordable housing community, we can ensure that the strategies and policies we pursue to reduce emissions from heating fuels will be innovative, affordable and equitable,” the Republican said in a press release.

The executive order also establishes a building decarbonization task force.

In March, Baker signed climate legislation that commits the state to reducing emissions below 1990 levels by 50% by 2030, 75% by 2040 and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

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