Carbon Free Boston

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The City of Boston has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, with interim goals of a 25 and 50 percent reduction by 2020 and 2030, respectively, relative to a 2005 baseline. As part of its mitigation effort, the City is collaborating with the Boston Green Ribbon Commission (GRC) and the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) at Boston University to produce a Carbon Free Boston report in 2018. This report will quantify the most effective combination of technologies and policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the energy, buildings, transportation, and public service sectors. Carbon Free Boston will also inform the GHG strategies that will be articulated in the City’s Climate Action Plan Update that will be released in 2018.

The ISE is the technical lead in the development of a modeling platform that will identify a set of policies and technologies that effectively and efficiently meet the City’s emissions reductions targets. In that role, the ISE will coordinate the work of consultants, staff working with the City and the Commonwealth, academics, and others with expertise in specific sectors.

Carbon Free Boston on City of Boston site:

Click to view: Roadmap for Carbon Free Boston

Click to view:  Stakeholder Engagement



The project leaders are Professors Cutler J. Cleveland (Principal Investigator) and Peter Fox-Penner (Principal Investigator).  The current project team is Dr. Michael Walsh (Senior Research Scientist), Kevin Zheng (Research Fellow), Adam Pollack (Research Fellow), & Dr. Margaret Cherne-Hendrick (Senior Science Policy Associate).

View the full team


The energy, buildings, and energy sectors are supported by technical advisory groups whose respective guidance helps to ensure that the technical quality of the model reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the City of Boston. These groups include representatives from various agencies in the City, energy utilities that serve the City, relevant agencies from the Commonwealth, relevant non-governmental organizations, academia, and other entities that are relevant to each sector. Information on the technical advisory groups, including meeting summaries and participants, and the public service sector are found here:


Carbon Free Boston Committed Funding Sources (Slideshow):

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  • BOFA logo

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  • Barr Foundation logo

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  • City of Boston logo

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  • Eversource logo

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  • Grantham Foundation logo

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  • Henry P Kendall Foundation logo

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  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation logo

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  • Massachusetts Government logo

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  • US National Grid logo

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  • Sherry and Alan Leventhal Family Foundation

    Sherry and Alan Leventhal Foundation. Click to visit website