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Boston joins 10-city effort to cut carbon emissions

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that Boston will join the City Energy Project (CEP), a new joint initiative of the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and select cities with ambitious strategies to save energy and reduce their buildings’ greenhouse gas emissions.  The CEP will help 10 cities develop their locally tailored plans to advance energy efficiency and reduce waste in their largest buildings. 

In Boston, the City Energy Project will support the outreach and implementation around the city’s Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) and its Renew Boston energy program’s large-building strategy, efforts which could save the commercial sector hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs in the next 10 years.

“We are proud to partner with the City Energy Project as well as the other world-class cities participating in this important initiative,” Mayor Walsh said. “Last year, Boston was ranked the most energy-efficient city in the United States, and we know that through collaborations like this one, we’ll continue our progress towards being an even greener, healthier city with a growing economy.”

The CEP will also offer expertise to guide cities in promoting strong private and municipal building energy performance, private investment in building improvements and transparency of buildings’ energy performance.  As part of its work with Boston, the City Energy Project will provide on-site staff to assist outreach around the City’s 2014 roll-out of BERDO, which requires all large buildings to rate and publicly report annual energy and water usage to improve resource management and to reduce emissions.  

This capacity, as well as CEP’s support of the Renew Boston Strategic Plan for commercial, industrial and large residential buildings, will directly support Boston’s Climate Action Plan, which sets out the City’s strategies for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.  The Plan, which is being updated in 2014, recognizes that Boston’s buildings produce over two-thirds of the city’s emissions.

“By providing for staff and programming devoted to our large building energy-efficiency efforts, the City Energy Project is in turn helping us meet one of our single most important greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Chief of Environment and Energy Brian Swett.  “We’d like to thank IMT and NRDC for helping create meaningful action against climate change in Boston.”

Joining Boston in the launch of the CEP are Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City.  The 10 cities combined are estimated to be able to reduce carbon emissions by a total of 5 million to 7 million tons of carbon emissions annually, which is equivalent to taking more than one million passenger cars off the road per year.

“City skylines have long been symbols of aspiration and innovation—this project takes that to a new level,” said Laurie Kerr, Director of the City Energy Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “These mayors are showing there is the political will to put people to work to build a healthier, more prosperous future for America’s cities. In the face of a changing climate and increasingly extreme weather, these city leaders know they cannot wait for the state or federal government to make them more resilient and sustainable – they are taking action now.”

“We have the skills and technology to make buildings more efficient, but we need a coordinated effort by major cities and the private sector to make it happen,” said Cliff Majersik, executive director of the Institute for Market Transformation. “The City Energy Project will give city leaders and the real estate industry the support they need to make buildings better, improving the lives of millions of city residents.”

Today’s announcement follows the release of The American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy’s 2013 scorecard, which ranked Boston as the most energy-efficient city in the United States for its climate policies and programs.

About the City Energy Project

The City Energy Project is a multiyear partnership between two non-profit groups, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), and 10 leading U.S. cities. Working together, the City Energy Project and participating cities will ramp up energy efficiency in their communities’ buildings, cutting expensive energy waste and reducing harmful carbon pollution. The City Energy Project is made possible from funding in a partnership of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation. Visit to learn more.

About Greenovate Boston
Greenovate Boston is a collective movement to ensure a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for the city by meeting The City of Boston’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Propelled by creativity and drive, Greenovate Boston will encourage continued sustainable growth within the city, making Boston the greenest in the United States. Visit for details.

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