Martin J. Walsh
Mayor, City of Boston
The mission of the Green Ribbon Commission is to convene leaders from Boston’s key sectors to support the outcomes of the City’s Climate Action Plan.
Boston is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent (over 2005) by 2020 and achieving net zero carbon energy sources by 2050, even as the city grows. City leaders have also pledged to prepare, in numerous ways, for the effects of climate change.
The GRC provides a forum for representatives of the private sector and the City to discuss, plan and act on the opportunities, challenges, ideas, and requirements of preparing Boston to meet the imperatives of climate change.
Boston is on old city that sits at sea level. Over the centuries, neighborhoods were built on top of low-lying areas. Rising sea levels, storm surge, flooding, intense precipitation, higher temperatures, and stronger winds are some of the anticipated physical threats to Boston between now and 2100. Beyond the obvious danger to Bostonians, these impacts represent huge financial risk; in economic terms, Boston is the 4th most vulnerable city in the United States, and the 8th most vulnerable in the world, according to the World Bank. With the highest tides and storms of 2015 topping sea walls, some of these effects are already tangible.
Watch this fascinating gif of Boston Harbor over 20,000 years of sea level rise by our friends at the Boston Archeology Department.
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Members of the GRC are the leaders of Boston’s largest property-owning businesses, educational institutions, and hospitals, as well as top representatives from the three major utilities. Others come from the construction, finance, consulting, and hospitality industries, as well as the faith community and key non-profit organizations.The Commission plays three important roles in advancing progress on climate action:
“Boston’s goal is to inhibit the advances of climate change, while ensuring resilience in the face of inevitable rising seas and other environmental changes already underway. We believe working together across key sectors will help us discover the innovative steps that will not only serve Boston, but benefit other leading cities around the world.”
From the op-ed, “Boston rolls up its sleeves for action on climate change” by Mayor Walsh and Mr. Hostetter