Boston has been a leader in climate action for a long time. In 2007 Boston became the first U.S. city to adopt green building zoning requirements. That same year, the City of Boston adopted aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals—25% by 2005 and 80% by 2050—and launched its triennial climate action planning process to address both carbon reduction and climate preparedness. Seven years later, Boston is well on its way to achieving these goals. In fact, the city as a whole has reduced emissions by 14% since 2005. Over the same period of time, municipal government has reduced emissions by over 20%.
We’ve worked hard to make this progress, and it is paying off. Boston was recently ranked as the most energy efficient city in the U.S. based on our policies and programs. It is because of these programs and policies that we have created new green jobs throughout the city, and saved our residents and businesses money on their energy bills.
But we can do more. Boston is rapidly growing. Boston’s climate action plan will help ensure that we can accommodate this growth and still meet our carbon reduction and climate preparedness goals. This year’s Plan will also begin to look towards our 2050 goal, which we know will require transformational action across the city. As we take steps to reduce emissions, we are well aware of the fact that we must be preparing for the impacts of climate change that are already locked in. I am taking on both of these challenges in earnest.
It is a privilege and an honor to be part of the C40, a leading network of major global cities that are on this ambitious journey with us. Boston is known around the world for its innovation and higher education institutions; I am confident we can find the right climate solutions, not only for Boston, but for the world. C40 will help us share, learn and achieve our shared vision for a healthier, more equitable and sustainable planet.