This study was the result of communications between the Office of the Governor and the Climate and Development Lab at Brown University, indicating that the state could take on more ambitious targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases if the efforts were shown to be feasible. Much of the state’s 2016 Greenhouse Gas Plan was built on computer models built by the Stockholm Environment Institute, who were contracted again for this study to improve that study’s baseline and consider more ambitious pathways of action.

Like the 2016 study, this one affirms three main efforts to get to 70% to 80% emissions reductions: electrify everything (especially cars and heating systems), focus on efficiency, and “green the grid” by replacing coal, gas and oil power plants with renewables. This study’s findings further show the urgent need to reduce methane emissions specifically, from natural gas transmission and distribution and other sources, as methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over shorter time scales.