This week, the Boston City Council unanimously passed a new ordinance that we’ve been fighting hard for: the Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance, or BERDO 2.0. It targets Boston’s biggest buildings — a few thousand buildings that account for 60% of carbon pollution — and sets aggressive standards for reduction.
This is a big win. It will reduce carbon pollution, and it sets a standard for community-centered climate justice. ACE and our partner organizations led the charge in pushing for an ordinance that puts environmental justice at its core.
And the final ordinance includes two crucial elements for environmental justice:
- Building owners are not allowed to buy “offsets” for their carbon pollution. Offsets are a false solution that aren’t compatible with a just transition.
- This process will be overseen by a board where a majority of the representatives are from strictly-defined community groups, ensuring that this whole process can’t be captured to serve the interests of developers and real estate.
In Boston, buildings are the single biggest factor for carbon pollution — and that’s why we’ve been so deeply involved in helping develop and support this initiative.
You helped make this happen. Nearly 200 ACE supporters sent messages to their city councilors prior to the vote. ACE has been a core part of the city’s policymaking for this move.
To give you a sense of ACE’s role, here’s a slide from the City’s own Environment Department showing the process:
I am thrilled that Boston is setting a standard for climate solutions that center justice and marginalized communities. Environmental justice means that the institutions with the most power must act boldly to build the future we all need, in collaboration with communities on the front lines of climate and pollution impacts.