With 2014 officially winding down, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the City of Boston’s accomplishments and progress made on environmental and energy issues this calendar year. Certainly, it would not have been possible to make these advances without the dedicated work of the EEOS team, Greenovate Boston, and the support and engagement of the community.
It has been inspiring to see climate conversations and actions take place both in Boston’s large businesses and small communities alike. As a result, the City has collectively achieved a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2005. This year’s successful Climate Action Plan Update process and its high level of community participation is a reflection of such dedication to this issue throughout the City. Moreover, the City has shifted its climate preparedness work into high gear–kicked off with the release of Climate Ready Boston last year and reiterated by the Mayor Walsh’s recent announcement on the launch of regional climate preparedness efforts.
With all of this excellent progress happening on the ground in Boston, the City is continuing to emerge as a climate leader at national and international levels. Last year we have received the #1 ranking for best energy-efficiency policies and programs of any big city in the country. This year we were selected by President Obama as a Climate Action Champion, and we have become a member of the global invitation-only C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
Finally, I would like to welcome Austin Blackmon as the new Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, starting in January. As we celebrate the City and its accomplishments, much work is yet to be done to achieve our Greenovate Boston goals. It has been and honor and privilege to lead the City’s efforts in this area for the last two and a half years, and I look forward to celebrating Boston’s new chapter of climate actions under Chief Blackmon’s leadership in 2015 and beyond!