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Heat Emergency in Boston
Mayor Wu announced a heat emergency in the City of Boston through Wednesday, July 17. Cooling centers will be open at 14 BCYF community centers Monday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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Reducing emissions

Carbon Free Boston is our initiative to become carbon neutral by 2050 by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Global warming is causing our climate to change. Recent climate reports show we're heading towards extreme climate changes unless we can act now. We have pledged to make Boston a carbon-neutral city by 2050. This means that in 30 years, our community can only release as much carbon pollution as our environment can safely absorb.

2019 Climate Action Plan

The 2019 update lays out the climate strategies we will accelerate over the next five years. We want to increase carbon emissions reduction in Boston’s buildings and transportation.

Explore the plan

You can also view an interactive summary in English or the following languages:

Please contact our office to request additional languages.

Becoming carbon neutral

The City has set a goal of making Boston carbon neutral by 2050. Buildings and transportation make up nearly 99 percent of Boston’s carbon emissions. We are putting in place strategies to cut emissions from both these areas:

  • Buildings: We're transitioning to zero-net carbon new construction. We plan to develop carbon targets to improve existing buildings over time.
  • Transportation: We're putting in place Go Boston 2030 and supporting the adoption of zero-emission vehicles.

We will also take steps to make our energy supply cleaner and more resilient. We plan to reduce the environmental impact of consumption by Bostonians.


The City is carrying out the strategies laid out in the 2019 Climate Action Plan Update. We will provide regular updates on our progress in carrying out our climate plans. Learn more about the current status of strategies and progress towards our goals:

Carbon Neutrality

Recent climate reports show we’re heading towards more extreme climate change than previously thought. This includes rising sea levels and severe storms and temperatures.

In the face of this challenge, Boston is taking action to stop our contribution to climate change. Between 2005 and 2016, we reduced the amount of carbon pollution we emit each year by 18 percent. Learn more about our emissions.

We have a vision for reducing our emissions to fight climate change. We have pledged to make Boston a carbon-neutral city by 2050. Carbon neutrality means that in 30 years, our community can only release as much carbon pollution as our environment can safely absorb.


By the numbers

In 2018, the Boston community emitted 6.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Emissions came from energy use:

  • in buildings and other facilities, and
  • from transportation.

This is an almost 4 percent increase from 2017. Overall, Boston’s 2017 emissions represent a 20 percent decrease from 2005. This reduction has occurred at the same time that the population and the number of jobs in Boston have increased. The decrease is in large part due to a cleaner electric grid and buildings switching from fuel oil to natural gas.

Boston 2005-2018 Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Boston 2005-2018 Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The City of Boston has set GHG reduction goals of 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

Read through the inventory report and methodology.

Early action to implement our climate plan

On December 11, 2019, former Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed an executive order for carbon-neutral City buildings. Setting a Zero Net Carbon standard for new municipal buildings is a strategy from the 2019 Climate Action Plan Update. New City buildings will be highly energy efficient. They will also promote clean energy and fossil fuel free systems.


The City of Boston is developing a new policy to make existing large buildings healthy and climate-friendly. Large buildings in Boston are the biggest emitters of carbon pollution. Developing a carbon standard for these buildings is one of the 2019 Climate Action Plan Update strategies. We are launching a process for the community to help inform policy design.

Go Boston 2030

Go Boston 2030 is the City's bold vision for our transportation future. This plan will help the City of Boston meet our emissions reduction goals.

Learn about Go Boston 2030


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