Global warming is causing our climate to change. Recent climate reports show we're heading towards extreme climate changes unless we can act now. Mayor Walsh has 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.
Mayor Walsh 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.
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.
Mayor Walsh has a vision for reducing our emissions to fight climate change. He has 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.
The science is clear: Climate change has given us hotter and more volatile weather; it has amplified the frequency and impact of severe storms; and it has increased the rate of sea level rise. An international panel of scientists just released a new report saying major impacts could hit worldwide as early as 2040. We don’t have to look far for early warning signs. A dumpster floating down the street at Fort Point in January. Blue Line tracks underwater in March. Floodwaters in Christopher Columbus Park, reaching the Rose Kennedy Greenway for the first time. King tides that routinely flood the Harbor Walk. Driftwood on a soccer field at LoPresti Park in East Boston. The hottest and most humid summer in our recorded history — this year. Climate change is very real to Bostonians. (Read the speech)
We are America’s climate champion, with a target date of 2050 for going 100% carbon-neutral.
In 2017, the Boston community emitted 6.1 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 decrease from 2016. Overall, Boston’s 2017 emissions represent an 21 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.
On December 11, 2019, Mayor 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.
DEVELOPING CARBON TARGETS FOR EXISTING LARGE BUILDINGS
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.
Plan for carbon neutrality and actions for zero net carbon buildings released
Next step taken toward implementation of Community Choice Aggregation
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