- The City of Boston on Tuesday launched Carbon Free Boston, an initiative designed to push the city toward becoming carbon neutral by 2050, according to WBUR.
- This initiative, which was originally announced in May, designates a team of consultants and researchers to determine the best ways to reach a carbon neutral Boston through mitigation of four sectors: transportation, waste, electricity and heat. A report on the efforts is expected in late 2018.
- Stakeholders have also called to halt the building of fossil fuel infrastructure in the city. Massachusetts is committed to cutting fossil fuel emissions 80% by 2050.
Carbon Free Boston is intended to create a shared vision of a carbon-free future, a shared understanding for carbon alternatives and a unified sense of urgency to reach carbon neutrality. However it is likely that this shared perspective will not be hard to reach. Masachusetts already has more square footage of LEED-certified projects than any other state in the nation, it was recently named the most energy-efficient state for the seventh consecutive year, and Boston is also prioritizing projects for its Climate Ready Boston initative.
Some initiatives are easier said than done, however, and reaching carbon neutrality will not be easy. Boston is currently experiencing a huge building boom, and while an uptick in the city's economy is beneficial, it may be hard to keep up with carbon-focused initiatives as the city grows. There are also number of stakeholders to please in the process, across a number of different sectors, which may cause some tension when deciding best methods for reducing fossil fuel dependence.
Boston is among a number of cities around the globe with long-term goals for carbon reduction, including Seattle, New York, London, Sydney, Rio de Janiero and Berlin. The Carbon Neutrality Cities Alliance offers a framework for carbon reduction planning, and it is hopeful that more cities will join the alliance as climate change continues as a focus for local governments.