BOSTON, MA (October 25, 2023) – The Boston Green Ribbon Commission (GRC) is encouraged by and supportive of the Healey Administration’s engagement with the public and private sectors to address climate change, as detailed in today’s recommendations from Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer. The recommendations represent a bold and comprehensive effort to help all stakeholders get our arms around the scope of the challenges and costs to implement game-changing resilience and decarbonization initiatives.
“Massachusetts leads the nation in planning and implementing climate action strategies. The Healey Administration has further upped the game by appointing the nation’s first state Climate Chief as a cabinet position and asking her to apply her expertise, experience, and authority to write a holistic and detailed assessment of what the Commonwealth needs to do to meet our goals,” said Amy Longsworth, Executive Director of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission. “The emphasis on systems thinking, importance of finance, criticality of maintaining healthy insurance markets, engaging all of government, and partnership with the private sector are all factors critical to our success recognized in the Chief’s report, along with many others.”
“The commitment to determining the scope and cost of reaching resilience and mitigation goals by 2050 is important and most welcome to the businesses and institutions that are being asked to participate in the transformation of the City of Boston and the Commonwealth,” added Longsworth. “Under Chief Hoffer’s guidance, the report promises additional reporting by the end of 2024 as well as an annual Climate Report Card while maintaining a practical focus on the pressing mitigation and resilience priorities.”
In our discussions with the administration and our members, the GRC has outlined priorities that have been embraced here:
- The private sector is ready and willing to partner with the City of Boston and the Commonwealth to help reach our carbon reduction goals. We applaud the call for a “Corporate Climate Challenge” to spur additional action from the private sector, which is critical to the success of our efforts.
- The recommendation to undertake a comprehensive financial analysis of the level of investment of all types needed to achieve the State’s emissions reductions targets is absolutely essential. Without this analysis, it will not be possible to build the political will to make these necessary investments.
- We appreciate the call for a Comprehensive Coastal Resilience Plan and look forward to proposals to ensure that the state’s resilience strategy has a strong leadership effort across multiple coordinated agencies. The state also needs to be more explicit about funding for this critical resilience work.
- We applaud the continued focus on Environmental Justice communities, many of which are in Boston, and we have been working diligently with the City to ensure full engagement, and now appreciate the reiteration of it as a state priority.
- We applaud the call for a $1 billion investment in MassCEC either as a one-time investment or dedicated funding of $100 million per year for ten years.
- We also support the establishment of the Decarbonization Clearinghouse, which was recommended in the Clean Heat Commission report. This creates a critical source of technical assistance for building owners.
- We support the purpose of the Commission on Energy Infrastructure and Siting, along with the commitment to reduce interconnection delays, which is well aligned with recent a series of Boston Grid Modernization Meetings that the GRC organized to identify how key actors – including Eversource and other utilities, the City of Boston, and large energy users – can work together to advance electrification, decarbonization, and resilience.
- We support the commitment to reform the Mass Save program, which has long been hampered by the requirement to focus on energy efficiency over carbon reduction.
- Finally, we applaud the Governor and Chief Hoffer for creating an ambitious and practical blueprint for reaching our carbon reduction goals by 2030 and 2050.
About the Boston Green Ribbon Commission
The mission of the Green Ribbon Commission is to accelerate the implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan by convening, organizing, and enabling leaders from Boston’s key sectors. The City of Boston is committed to achieving net zero carbon energy sources by 2050, even as the city grows. The GRC provides a forum for representatives of the private sector and the City to discuss, plan and act on the opportunities, challenges, ideas, and requirements of preparing Boston to meet the imperatives of climate change. To learn more, visit www.greenribboncommission.org or follow us on Twitter.