For Immediate Release
April 22, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that Boston’s municipal operations have achieved a 9-percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding the goal set in an executive order signed by the Mayor in 2007, which called for a 7-percent reduction by 2012. The announcement coincides with the release of the City’s updated climate action plan, “A Climate of Progress”, which calls for reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions 25-percent by 2020 and incorporating the potential effects of climate change in all planning. The report was released today in honor of Earth Day.
“The City of Boston is leading by example in reducing our carbon emissions. I am very proud that we have met our goal ahead of schedule, but this is only a start,” Mayor Menino said. “I am committed to continuing our work to green Boston and our economy by moving this ambitious agenda forward, working together with our residents and businesses to fully realize the benefits of a low carbon city and to ensure that our city remains a vibrant one for future generations.”
Mayor Menino signed an executive order in 2007 to set clear and challenging climate action goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions in government operations 7-percent below 1990 levels by 2012. As a result of increasing energy efficiency in schools and city buildings, raising the use of renewable energy, buying alternative fueled vehicles, and many other measures, Boston’s municipal government has met that goal ahead of schedule. Examples include:
- Converting all traffic signals to LEDs
- Installing efficient lighting upgrades and HVAC equipment in many City buildings
- Replacing 70 fleet vehicles with hybrid electric vehicles
- Purchasing 12% of electricity from wind power
A Climate of Progress is the updated climate action plan for the City of Boston, taking Boston’s municipal leadership citywide. In 2009, Mayor Menino created the Boston Climate Action Leadership Committee and Community Advisory Committee—together representing all segments of the community and all neighborhoods in Boston—to recommend climate action goals for the entire Boston community and steps for reaching those goals. After a year of work and extensive public and expert consultations, the committees presented their report Sparking Boston’s Climate Revolution on Earth Day 2010. The complete set of recommendations in that report now comprises the new Boston climate action plan, A Climate of Progress, which describes how Boston Municipal Government has been and will continue to implement green practices, through:
- Reducing community greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050
- Incorporating projected climate change into all formal planning and project review processes
- Engaging all segments of the community in climate action and leadership
- Developing innovative businesses and workforce skills to take advantage of climate action opportunities
“The Mayor’s vision for a greener and more livable Boston is ambitious, yet also actionable, and achievable,” said Jim Hunt, Chief of Environmental and Energy Services. “Working with businesses and residents we will further reduce energy consumption and costs, expand renewable energy installations, create good green jobs, and protect our planet for future generations. Together we are demonstrating the full benefits of sustainability.”
The City of Boston recognizes that engaging the local community is a critical aspect of advancing its climate goals and creating a sustainable city. The City has worked to engage residents on many levels and provide them with tools and incentives to be more sustainable. Examples include:
- Boston Hubway Bike Sharing System among the first in the nation. The recently announced Hubway will arrive this summer with a system of 600 bikes and 61 stations installed across the entire city.
- The Renew Boston program has provided free energy efficiency retrofits for over 500 residents and small business using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.
- The City adopted the Stretch Energy Code requiring stricter energy efficiency regulations for all new buildings in the City of Boston.
- As part of Solar Boston, the City passed an ordinance for solar energy projects in Boston that will make the process for obtaining solar permits more efficient and less costly.
For more information and to view the complete climate action report, visit http://www.cityofboston.gov/climate/.