Climate change is an existential threat to our City and our world. In Boston, sea levels have already risen over a foot and a recent report from the World Bank ranked Boston the eighth most vulnerable city to climate change related flooding in the world. That’s why Andrea believes Boston must act decisively to dramatically reduce emissions, improve air quality, and prepare the city for the change we know is happening.
Over the last few years, bold leadership from Andrea and her Council colleagues has moved forward one of the most aggressive environmental agendas in Boston’s history. When Andrea served as President of the City Council, she and her colleagues passed legislation to ban single-use plastic bags, pilot curbside composting, fix underground gas leaks, protect wetlands, and made significant efforts to reduce Boston’s carbon footprint and promote environmental sustainability.
These were important steps, but now we must do more, at a larger scale, to put aggressive strategies into immediate action. Boston is already widely recognized for innovation in technology and health — let’s also become the country’s leader in showing the power of cities to equitably lead in the fight against climate change.
As Mayor, Andrea will:
Confront environmental racism. Fighting for environmental justice isn’t just about doing our part to prevent climate change – it’s also about reversing decades of environmental racism that has led to polluted air, water, and land throughout communities of color, forcing Black and Brown residents to shoulder a disproportionate share of environmental burden – including higher rates of asthma and other long-term health outcomes. Decades of disinvestment mean that Boston’s Black and Brown residents are least equipped to be able to deal with the effects of climate change – from the stronger storms to the hotter heat waves. Andrea has seen this first-hand in her district and she will fight for environmental justice as Mayor.
Aggressively accelerate Boston’s decarbonization. In the face of inaction from our Federal government, states and cities are stepping up across the country to show that we can radically reduce our carbon footprint. Boston must and can do much more — from the emissions of our own city government to the incentives and regulations we place on the private sector. This is also an opportunity to address the wealth gap and ensure Bostonians – including Black and Latinx people – have access to the career and business development opportunities from these efforts.
Lead by example on transit. A quarter of the City of Boston’s emissions comes from our vehicle fleet. Andrea believes we must make all city-owned vehicles electric by 2030 – and work with the MBTA to electrify their bus fleet, invest in bus rapid transit, and make bus trips free of charge.
Invest in resilient and sustainable infrastructure and buildings. Over 70% of the City’s emissions are estimated to come from our buildings. Andrea believes the City must be bolder in reducing that carbon footprint, particularly for new development and our largest buildings, but also in supporting all residents to invest in energy efficiency that can save families money. And, as Mayor, Andrea would be sure Boston is prioritizing the critical long term investments in infrastructure so every neighborhood is prepared and resilient in the face of heat, storms, and flooding.
Protect and expand green space. Right now Boston has a less developed tree canopy in neighborhoods like East Boston and Dorchester, which are predominantly communities of color. As Boston spends just $900,000 per year planting new trees, we have a huge opportunity to invest in adding trees, and equitably protecting green space, to improve the health and climate resilience of our communities.