As the global battle against climate change intensifies, Boston has rolled out four groundbreaking initiatives to curb carbon emissions and prepare for future climate impacts. These efforts are part of the city's strategic plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
In tandem with this, the Renew Boston Trust is an innovative investment program targeting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in city-owned buildings. Central to the Trust's strategy is an energy services performance contract, a unique financial tool that allows the city to use future energy savings to finance the upfront costs of green projects. This approach marks a significant step forward in upgrading the city's infrastructure while promoting financial sustainability.
Further emphasizing the city's commitment to environmental accountability is the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO). This policy mandates large and medium-sized buildings in Boston to disclose their annual energy and water use. Applying to non-residential buildings over 20,000 square feet, residential buildings with 15 or more units, and parcels with multiple buildings that meet these thresholds, BERDO is a critical measure designed to monitor and manage the city's energy consumption more effectively.
Boston's resilience plan, Climate Ready Boston, adds another layer to the city's climate strategy. This comprehensive initiative involves studying the city's five coastal neighborhoods and developing plans to bolster coastal resilience against flooding along Boston's 47-mile coastline. To ensure a fair and inclusive approach, the initiative also focuses on developing a citywide plan to manage rising temperatures equitably. The recently released Heat Plan outlines strategies to mitigate the impacts of increasing temperatures and extreme heat events tied to climate change.
These pioneering initiatives demonstrate Boston's unwavering commitment to combat climate change and transition towards a carbon-neutral future. As cities worldwide grapple with similar challenges, Boston's proactive measures provide a blueprint for sustainable urban development.