Report identifies transportation sector as largest source of carbon pollution, responsible for 42% of greenhouse-gas emissions

The biggest challenge to reducing the greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change in the state is to do so without imposing an unfair cost burden on residents and businesses, according to a new report submitted to the Legislature.

The report is the work of a study group set up by lawmakers to identify ways to comply with an aggressive goal of cutting back pollution that leads to global warming, reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent from 2006 levels by 2050. It recommends that the state focus on three key areas to achieve those targets: transportation; heating and building; and energy production.

It is not going to be easy or painless, witnesses said at a hearing of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee yesterday in the Statehouse Annex on a range of crucial energy issues facing the state.


Ed Potosnak, executive director of the League of Conservation Voters and the co-chair of the working group, told the committee they would leave it up to the Legislature to decide how to finance efforts to meet the global warming goals.

The report also calls for measures to reduce carbon pollution from power plants and facilities using fossil fuels, as well as buildings.

Potosnak argued the state should step up efforts to reduce energy consumption by consumers. “The biggest tool we have is energy efficiency,’’ he said, referring to ways to limit how much energy is used by businesses and residents.

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