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Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type

ENV 312


Environmental Science and Policy


Alex Barron and Beth Hooker


In May 2022, members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) voted to create a decarbonization plan for its internal operations. Representatives of the statewide labor union, with over 100,000 members, tasked us with figuring out where the MTA’s greenhouse gas emissions come from and creating recommendations for decarbonization. We used multiple emissions estimation models and approximations to create an inventory of the MTA’s carbon emissions. We found that the majority - 67% - of the MTA’s emissions come from heating and electricity within their seven office buildings (Figure 4). With this knowledge, we created recommendations for the MTA to follow in order to begin transitioning to a fossil free future. Knowing that Massachusetts public schools, the workplaces of MTA members, emit far more greenhouse gasses than the union itself, our top recommendation is that the MTA concentrate more effort on school decarbonization than its own internal decarbonization. Due to this conclusion, we included recommendations regarding how the MTA can use their leverage to aid Massachusetts K-12 school decarbonization. Schools are integral parts of climate action and decarbonization work, given their importance to communities across the United States. The combination of the labor and climate movements, too, is critical for the future of decarbonization. We hope that this project can outline strategies to unify both movements within the context of developing climate resilient schools.


© 2022 Allison Wray, Maeve Morrow, and Jessica Brown