Boston’s Climate Vulnerabilities and Solutions

The Climate Ready Boston initiative – an effort started by Mayor Martin Walsh last October - recently released its climate projections for the Greater Boston region.  These represent a consensus on the future of the region according to leading scientists, universities and previously published work. This report forecasts increases in rainfall, higher temperatures, and affirms that the sea level is rising.  Although some sea level rise is inevitable, our ability to limit this increase and protect our city largely depends on the energy choices and climate defense strategies we make today.  Taking moderate steps to reduce emissions will see a rise in sea-level in Boston by 2100 that will impact much of downtown Boston and the Seaport district. If we continue upon our current trajectory of GHG outputs, we could see sea level rise by 6 feet or more, a level that almost certainly means regular flooding and severe water damage to public and private sector infrastructure.  Reducing our GHG emissions and increasing our reliance on renewables and energy efficient technologies is critical to preventing the worst-case climate scenarios. 

Currently the Climate Ready Boston team is finalizing the identification of critical resiliency focus areas and their climate vulnerabilities where focused attention and public-private partnerships will be necessary to prepare for projected climate impacts.  In addition, the team is working to develop a portfolio of solutions across the City and in certain key business districts with identified vulnerabilities. 

A Better City understands that timely and aggressive action from the Boston business community is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make smart investments in climate defense.  We have been leading private-sector engagement in the Climate Ready Boston initiative to raise awareness to these climate impacts and encourage the development of solutions that will foster economic vitality and improve quality of life within our region. On September 15th, A Better City and the Green Ribbon Commission are hosting Boston’s Climate Vulnerabilities and Solutions Symposium that will focus on technologies, policies and actions to prepare the City’s buildings, businesses and districts for the future. The Symposium will also provide an opportunity for building resilience technologies to be showcased, shifting the focus from planning for climate change towards action.

Please reach out to Yve Torrie with any questions: ytorrie@abettercity.org or 617.502.6247. 

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