Background Briefing Document for GRC Carbon Free Boston Critical Questions Dialogue

Boston’s leadership on climate mitigation is now more important than ever. As the U.S.
government pulls back from world leadership on this issue, cities and states are stepping
up their commitments to achieve and exceed the goals of the Paris Climate Accord.
Boston’s goal to be carbon neutral puts it in the company of several hundred cities
worldwide who have adopted a similar aggressive target.

The Green Ribbon Commission is partnering with the City of Boston on the Carbon Free
Boston initiative to develop a detailed strategy for the City to achieve its goal of carbon
neutrality by 2050. Achieving this target will require transformational change in our city’s
energy, building, transportation and waste systems. It is a daunting task under any
circumstances, and particularly challenging given the limits of control the City has over
some of these systems.

As we move into the critical analysis and planning phase of this work with the City, it is
important to identify key strategic questions that will need to be addressed for us to be
successful. To this end, we will be dedicating half of our November 15, 2017 GRC
meeting to a Members-only “Critical Questions” brainstorming and dialogue session to
tap the breadth and depth of expertise in the GRC to surface strategic questions we
need to answer as we move forward. This document provides some background
materials to inform our conversations.

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