Sustainable Arlington

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Boston Mayor Signs Executive Order for Zero Net Carbon Municipal New Construction

On Wed., Dec. 11, 2019, Mayor Walsh signed an executive order requiring all new municipal building construction to target a Zero Net Carbon standard. This bold action accelerates the city’s leadership in climate action, keeping Boston on track to meet the goals outlined in the 2019 Climate Action Plan Update, released earlier this year, as well as the 2015 Global Paris Agreement.

Citywide, buildings account for 70 percent of Boston’s carbon emissions,

and higher standards of building performance are essential to reach the city’s goals. In order to meet our goal of carbon neutrality, all buildings in the city -- new and existing -- must meet a zero carbon standard by 2050. As outlined in the 2019 Climate Action Plan, the city is pursuing a required performance standard and zoning code updates to support building decarbonization citywide.

After this morning’s Executive Order signing, all new municipal projects will be designed to be highly energy efficient and optimize onsite renewable energy while prioritizing fossil fuel free combustion. Resilience will also be incorporated to meet changing climate conditions, including sea level rise, more intense storms, and increased precipitation.


As the City of Boston continues to transition our buildings to be carbon neutral, we need all residents to get on board. Be part of the future of Boston by signing up for your free Mass Save energy assessment today. Have you already carried out the energy efficiency measures recommended by Mass Save? Check out some other actions you can take in our online Climate Action Guide.

Katherine Eshel
Carbon Neutrality Program Manager

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