The Boston Foundation announces inaugural Boston Climate Progress Report

Inaugural edition of the biennial report expected to be issued later this year

January 24, 2022

The Boston Foundation is proud to announce a new project, the inaugural Boston Climate Progress Report. This report is the culmination of years of discussion with the City of Boston’s Environment Department in the Mayor’s Environment, Energy and Open Space Cabinet, along with our partners at the Green Ribbon Commission. 

Last spring, we worked with a group of experts in the climate field to help design the project and then invited proposals from researchers. We have selected a team led by Joan Fitzgerald, Ph.D., Professor of Public Policy & Urban Affairs, Northeastern University, to conduct the research for this report. Joan is joined by colleagues, Ted Landsmark, Director, Dukakis Center, Distinguished Professor, School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs, Northeastern University; Kaitlyn Alarez Noli, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Health Sciences, Northeastern University; and Michael Jay Walsh, Ph.D., an independent decarbonization consultant. 

Tracks over the Charles River

The genesis of this report was the City of Boston’s climate resiliency plan and the City’s reputation as a national and international leader in advancing city-based climate action, including setting three aggressive climate goals to:  

  1. Achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
  2. Create resilience to long-term climate risks (sea level rise, coastal flooding, extreme storms, and extreme heat).
  3. Eliminate racial and social inequities that result from the impacts of climate change.   

We believe that these ambitious goals require building public will and support, and that those who live or work in Boston must be well-informed and share a sense of direction and destiny.   

While the City has detailed roadmaps in place to advance toward its goals, community-wide climate action requires alignment and collaboration across a diverse set of stakeholders, including government entities, residents, neighborhoods, community-based organizations, companies, and other institutions. Currently, there is no vehicle for assessing, sharing, and encouraging progress across the Boston community and answering such questions as:  

  • Are we on track to reach our goals?
  • Where are the opportunities for improvement?
  • How can we work better together?

This inaugural edition of what will be a biennial Boston Climate Progress Report will also include a series of highly visible community engagement events to keep citizens informed of and engaged in climate action and progress against goals. To ensure that we maintain a well-rounded approach to this work and socialize it across a broad range of networks, we have invited a group of leaders in the climate space to join the Boston Climate Report Steering Committee. They are:

  • Kathy Abbott, President & CEO, Boston Harbor Now 
  • JocCole “JC” Burton, President & CEO, Maven Construction, Inc. 
  • Bradley Campbell, President, Conservation Law Foundation 
  • Joan Christel, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Citizenship & Global Inclusion, State Street Corporation 
  • John Cleveland, Senior Advisor, Boston Green Ribbon Commission 
  • Chris Cook, Executive Director, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
  • Joseph A. Curtatone, President, Northeast Clean Energy Council; Former Mayor of Somerville 
  • Ben Hires, CEO, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
  • Pamela B. Hurd, Associate Vice President, Leadership Giving, Development and Donor Services, The Boston Foundation 
  • Amy Longsworth, Executive Director, Boston Green Ribbon Commission 
  • Keith Mahoney, Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs, The Boston Foundation 
  • David Meshoulam, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Speak for the Trees, Boston 
  • John Messervy, Corporate Director of Design & Construction, Real Estate, Mass General Brigham
  • Ronald O’Hanley, Chairman & CEO, State Street Corporation 
  • Emily Reichert, CEO, Greentown Labs
  • Mary Skelton-Roberts, Senior Vice President, Programs, Energy Foundation 
  • Vikki Spruill, President & CEO, New England Aquarium
  • Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, President, Environmental League of Massachusetts 
  • Kathryn Wright, Senior Program Officer, Clean Energy, Barr Foundation

The Boston Climate Progress Report is set to be released towards the end of this calendar year. However, we will be sharing progress updates throughout the year. To ensure that you are alerted to the latest news about this work, please be sure to sign up for the TBF events mailing list. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Julia Howard at The Boston Foundation.