Upham's Corner Online

Boston Climate Action History

Posted: January 28, 2011          Nancy J Conrad

Based on information from the City of Boston website, the Climate Action History demonstrates the City's strong commitment to proactively mitigating its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

Residents and local businesses are encouraged to take leadership roles – setting examples in energy efficiency, local growing, bike friendliness, sustainability and more. 
What is Renew Boston?
Dorchester Bay's Role
Moving to Sustainable
Renew Boston Website
Climate Action History
Commonwealth of MA
City of Boston
  • Mayor Menino enlists the City of Boston in the ICLEI effort.

    The 'International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives' (ICLEI) was formed in 1998 at its charter meeting at the United Nations.  In 2003 members voted to revise the organization's mission, charter and name.  It is now called 'ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.' 
    ICLEI Website
  • Mayor Menino appoints an Energy Advisory Committee to reduce the City's energy consumption.
  • The City constructs its first municipal green building, the George Robert White Environmental Conservation Center

  • The Mayor appoints a Green Building Task Force to produce a "comprehensive examination of every facet of a green building."  As a result Boston became the first city in the nation to Institute a green building standard through it's municipal zoning requirements.
  • Mayor Menino joins other members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in unanimously adopting the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. The mayors agreed that their cities would "strive to meet or exceed Kyoto Protocol targets."

  • The Mayor's Energy Management Board - the successor to the Energy Advisory Committee-completes an Integrated Energy Management Plan (IEMP) for 362 municipal buildings.
  • The Department of Neighborhood Development receives a $2 million grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to develop green affordable housing.

  • The City begins using biodiesel in its vehicles.
  • The Boston Zoning Commission adopts a Green Buildings provision, the new Article 37, for Boston's zoning code, which requires that projects over 50,000 square feet be "LEED certifiable."

  • Mayor Menino issues an executive order "relative to climate action in Boston," which establishes the goal of and policies for reducing GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

  • The City presents its first Green Awards

  • The City publishes its climate action plan:  Sparking Boston's Climate Revolution
  • Energy Secretary Bodman designates Boston a Solar America City.

  • Mayor Menino announces Solar Boston a two-year $550,000 initiative to increase the amount of installed solar capacity in Boston from half a megawatt in 2008 to 25 megawatts by 2015.

  • Boston ranks as the 6th most sustainable city in the US by SustainLane.com.

  • Mayor Menino signs an Executive Order on Greening Operations in City buildings, including comprehensive recycling and instituting a green cleaning program.

  • The City presents its second annual Green Awards and expands the program to include Bike-Friendly businesses.
  • Mayor Menino and former Vice President Al Gore announce the creation of the Climate Action Leadership Committee which will work to revamp the City's Climate Action Plan to help reduce the city's green house gas emissions by 7% below 1990 levels by 2012.

  • The Mayor also announces the Community Advisory Committee, which will coordinate with the Climate Action Leadership Committee to create an action plan that will include the interests of all Bostonians.

  • Mayor Menino announces four major citywide environmental initiatives:

    • The Kill-A-Watt program to help residents calculate energy efficiency,

    • The adoption of single-stream municipal recycling for city residents through the Recycle More program, and

    • The Renew Boston Residential Energy Efficiency Pilot Program which will create green jobs and promote energy efficiency.

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