Boston Plans To Restrict Fossil Fuel Use in Buildings

As part of the city’s broader climate goals, Mayor Michelle Wu wants to require all new buildings to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.

1 minute read

August 18, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Boston Aerial

Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock

After Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a climate bill last week, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu plans to introduce legislation that would eventually eliminate the use of fossil fuels in new construction in the city, where buildings make up roughly 70 percent of the city’s emissions. 

As Maria Rachal reports in Smart Cities Dive, “The state law establishes a pilot program that will allow 10 municipalities to create local policies restricting the use of fossil fuels in new construction projects.” At present, Boston would be the 11th city to file a petition, but could be included in the program if other communities fail to meet the program’s requirements. “Those communities include Brookline, a town in the Boston suburbs that voted in 2019 to become the first East Coast town to ban fossil fuel hookups in new buildings but ultimately was not allowed by the state to do so.”

According to the source article, “Boston, a member of the national Building Performance Standards Coalition, last fall adopted a building performance standard that requires all buildings 20,000 square feet or larger to meet certain emissions targets by 2025, and have zero carbon emissions by 2050.” The city will engage in a public input process before determining the final parameters and timelines for making buildings fossil fuel-free.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022 in Smart Cities Dive

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