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Walsh Releases Plan for Carbon Neutrality

Mayor Marty Walsh released a plan this week that has Boston becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

Walsh plans on doing this by developing new guidelines for building projects and investing in energy saving options for city-owned buildings. About 70 percent of carbon emissions come from buildings in the city. New city-owned buildings will be designed as carbon neutral, which is releasing no net carbon emissions on an annual basis.

The Walsh administration is currently focused on energy-saving projects with 14 municipal buildings, including fire and police stations, libraries and other centers for the community.

Mayor Walsh is addressing climate change with his new plan. Certain areas of the city are already dealing with increased flooding. This photo shows a storm surge at Christopher Columbus Park, 2018.

“Climate change is the defining challenge of our time,” Walsh said in a statement. “As a coastal city, Boston is at the frontlines of this global crisis. While national action is at a standstill, cities like Boston are leading with plans, solutions and results.”

Walsh said they will encourage large building owners to install electronic appliances as a way to lower carbon emissions. He also wants to turn the city’s vehicle fleet to be low-emissions vehicles. Walsh will work on developing new guidelines for affordable housing projects for them to be more eco-friendly.

This year, the budget has about 10 percent of spending dedicated to these carbon neutral projects, which is something the mayor plans on doing every budget season.

“With the release of today’s Climate Action Plan update, Mayor Walsh is continuing to take bold action to combat climate change and to ensure that Boston continues to grow and thrive in the face of unprecedented challenges,” said Richard A. Dimino, President & CEO of A Better City in a statement. “I applaud the Mayor’s commitment to reduce emissions from municipal buildings and look forward to working collaboratively with the City to develop smart strategies to reduce emissions across the buildings and transportation sectors.”

Boston city councilors also approved of the plan.

“The strategies detailed in the updated Climate Action Plan will be transformative for building a sustainable and resilient city,” said City Councilor Matt O’Malley and Chairman of the Council’s Environment, Sustainability and Parks Committee. “I am proud to have led the Council’s efforts and advocated for a pathway to a carbon-neutral future. It is evident that the greatest contributor to carbon emissions is our buildings. I look forward to working with Mayor Walsh and his administration to promote the construction of zero net carbon buildings in Boston and continue to work to reduce the impacts of climate change.”

Read the 2019 Climate Action Plan in its entirety here.