Climate change is real, man-made, and urgent. While humanity has arguably seen enormous benefits from the Industrial Revolution, we have become increasingly aware of the cost: namely, that we are doing great harm to the planet’s ecosystems. The urgency comes from the fact that we have frittered away decades by denying and minimizing the problem, and we do not have much time before certain tipping points will activate feedback loops that will accelerate global warming.
We know that cities and states must lead the fight against climate change. Massachusetts, along with its capital city, has a tremendous opportunity to show how the nation can accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to a renewable-energy-based economy.
The City commissioned a report from Boston University called Carbon Free Boston. It lays out a comprehensive and actionable plan for the City of Boston to be carbon neutral by 2050. To reach our carbon-reduction goals, all new buildings must be built to 21st-century building capabilities: efficient, all-electric, and powered by clean energy. All existing buildings must be retrofitted to meet those standards. While Mayor Walsh has made some strong steps forward by signing a Community Choice Energy ordinance (for additional citywide clean energy) and an ordinance requiring that all new municipal buildings be constructed to net-zero-carbon standards, we must do more—and quickly. Large buildings should be required to meet energy use intensity (EUI) benchmarks, and incentives for retrofitting existing buildings need to be implemented.
WHAT WE WANT Our aspiration is for all new construction to be carbon neutral. We strongly oppose any development of new fracked-gas infrastructure to power buildings in Boston.
HOW WE GET THERE We strive to encourage strong political leadership, and we seek to create a process that develops sound public policy. This process must foster collaboration among Boston’s development, architectural, financial, academic, labor, environmental, and faith-based sectors. BCEC offers an organizing space for such leadership and collaboration.