Guest blog post: Celebrating Boston’s climate action on Earth Day
Boston has long been a leader in addressing climate change, from setting a bold carbon reduction goal to chairing the global C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and last winter’s blizzards affirm the need for the City to be a leader on climate change, and we are taking action.
Through Imagine Boston 2030, we’ve talked with residents from every neighborhood of the city about their priorities for Boston’s future and they agree that preparing for climate change and creating sustainable neighborhoods is critical to our future. As a result, one of Imagine Boston’s goals is to “promote a healthy environment and adapt to a changing climate”.
Imagine Boston’s climate goal is supported by the City’s Environment Department, which is leading the conversation on climate change through “Climate Ready Boston.” Building on the framework in the City Climate Action Plan, Climate Ready Boston focuses on how the city can continue to thrive by preparing for the increasing risks from rising sea level, more frequent flooding, more intense precipitation, and higher temperatures. And while we prepare, we’re also pushing our carbon emission reduction work even further, knowing that this is critical to preventing climate change from impacting our city in the long term.
Climate Ready Boston and Imagine Boston are closely linked. The Climate Ready Boston team is updating the projections for local climate change, assessing in more detail Boston’s vulnerabilities, identifying critical means and ways to reduce our vulnerabilities and developing a roadmap forward. All of this information will directly inform Imagine Boston, so when we identify places to preserve, enhance and grow between now, and 2030 and beyond, we build this vision on a clear understanding of how climate change will shape our city.
Today, on Earth Day, we are celebrating the work undertaken by Bostonians from every corner of the city to clean up and improve our environment, reduce our carbon emissions, and prepare for the climate impacts we already feel. The Greenovate team, which is the City’s community-wide initiative to engage all Bostonians in helping the City meet its climate and sustainability goals, is celebrating the City’s climate action champions at Fenway Park, where Mayor Walsh will announce the winners of the 10th Annual Greenovate Awards. Keep your eyes peeled around town too – the Greenovate unicorn bike will be hidden somewhere in the Hubway system. The Boston Yeti made a rare springtime appearance to remind us that climate change is more than snowfall, and we need to be ready for some change.
Mia Goldwasser is the Climate Preparedness Program Manager for the City of Boston Environment Department