Carbon Free Boston Summary Report
Carbon Free Boston requires deep changes in city life
As the City of Boston seeks to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, the Institute for Sustainable Energy (now the Boston University Institute for Global Sustainability) has quantified the most effective combination of actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across buildings, transportation, energy supply, and waste management. The report provides an analytical framework to help make decisions related to the four mutually reinforcing strategies to reach carbon neutrality: energy efficiency, electrification, clean energy, and improving social outcomes through intentional action.Download Report
- Despite the expected decarbonization of the New England grid, natural gas may still generate some electricity used within Boston on the path to 2050. If so, the City can lead efforts to allow Bostonians to easily purchase GHG-free electricity.
- New Boston buildings will need to be designed for net-zero or net-positive performance by prioritizing passive building strategies, well-insulated and air-tight envelopes, and high-efficiency heating, cooling, and lighting systems.
- Nearly all existing buildings will need to undergo deep energy retrofits with a “whole building” approach.
- Carbon neutrality in transportation requires Bostonians to shift travel from cars—the largest source of transportation-related GHG emissions—to public transit, biking, and walking.
- The transition will bring safer streets, improved public health from cleaner air and more physical activity, and equitable access to mobility.
- Reducing GHG emissions from solid waste is necessary for carbon neutrality. Less waste generation combined with more recycling and reuse will lower methane emissions and foster companies that reprocess recyclables.
Summary Report Presentation (Video)
- Carbon Free Boston report release