Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Human's emit greenhouse gas emissions by burning fossil fuels such as oil, gasoline, natural gas, and coal. The general (though not unanimous) international understanding is that the world needs to reduce its total emissions by as much as 80 percent by 2050 to stabilize global climate.

Boston cannot stop climate change by itself nor eliminate all the risks. But Boston can-and must-take meaningful action. Boston can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 through more efficient buildings and vehicles, lower-carbon fuels, reduced driving, more recycling, and other changes in behavior. Visit to learn what you can do to reduce your own emissions.

  • Multi-Family Homes (75)


    The most important step that Boston can take is to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings.  This will enable us to achieve about half of our greenhouse gas reduction goal.

    Green Buildings »

  • Kenmore Bike Lane (75)


    Nearly one-thrid of Boston's 2020 GHG reduction goal will come from the transportation sector. The biggest savings are projected to come from making cars more efficient. Boston drivers can also reduce emissions by increasing their use of alternative modes of transportation and driving smarter.

    Driving less and driving smarter »

  • IBEW Wind Turbine (75)


    However efficient we make our buildings and vehicles, we will still consume energy.  We need to make sure that the energy we use is produced as efficiently as possible and relies on fossil fuels as little as possible.

    Energy conservation »

  • Woman Recycling (75)

    Waste Reduction

    Reducing solid waste reduces greenhouse gas emissions that arise from landfills and other disposal methods.  Solid waste is a relatively small contributor to Boston's greenhouse gas emissions-but the way we dispose of waste is almost completely under our control.

    Lightening the trash load »