Skip to main content

Climate Justice

With bold leadership and vision, Boston has the potential to be a worldwide beacon for climate action and environmental justice. In partnership with community activists and organizations, Michelle has proposed the first comprehensive city-level Green New Deal agenda of its kind, laying out an ambitious policy roadmap for delivering the kinds of structural changes we need in order to provide our kids a future built on sustainable energy, good jobs, and healthy, connected communities.

Policy PrioritiesHow We Will Lead

Implementing a Boston Green New Deal and Just Recovery

Climate justice is racial and economic justice. Cities can lead the charge to mitigate the threat of climate change, eliminate the violence of poverty and economic inequality, close the racial wealth gap, and dismantle structural racism. Read Michelle’s plan.

Protecting public health with clean air and water

City residents face serious health risks of living near sources of pollution—from East Boston residents dealing with jet fuel pollution near the airport, to Chinatown residents living by highways filled with polluting cars and trucks. Boston should take measures to mitigate and eliminate pollution. And as a coastal city, we can play a major role in safeguarding our ocean resources to protect marine biodiversity and improve water quality. Combating climate change is a key part of creating safe communities and promoting public health.

Fighting for environmental justice communities

Communities of color, low-income and working-class families, and immigrant communities are more likely to see environmental hazards and face exposure to pollution, urban heat island effect, flooding, and other impacts of climate change. Policies to combat environmental racism and ensure resiliency must focus on community stabilization to ensure people benefit from green investments in their neighborhoods without fear of displacement. As we take action on climate change, Boston’s decision-makers must adopt a procedural justice framework that lifts up the voices, ideas and power of historically marginalized communities into processes for setting agendas and implementing policies.

Improving quality of life through better buildings and sustainable transit

Buildings and transportation together account for a large portion of our carbon footprint. Retrofitting our buildings with solar panels, high-efficiency heaters, and stormwater infrastructure will make buildings safer and more comfortable for residents, students and workers, while also cutting down on utility costs for renters and homeowners. And creating multimodal transportation systems that enable residents to leave traffic- and pollution-inducing fossil fuel-powered vehicles behind will not only reduce our emissions, but also improve air quality, ease traffic congestion, and allow all Boston residents to benefit from active transportation.

Accelerating decarbonization

The window to reverse the destructive momentum of climate change is closing quickly, and Boston is vulnerable to intense heat waves and destructive coastal flooding. We must commit to citywide carbon neutrality by 2040, with 100% of our energy coming from renewable sources by 2030, and a net-zero municipal footprint by 2024. These firm commitments demonstrate leadership to the nation while modeling a science-driven climate action plan that centers the safety and well-being of historically marginalized and impacted environmental justice communities.

Creating green jobs and workforce development

Michelle’s plan to implement the GND at the municipal level includes the creation of green jobs that pay livable wages, offer good benefits, and maintain strong worker protections to build a clean, just economy. By partnering with organized labor, workers centers, and technical schools, Boston can ensure that these workforce development pathways are accessible for residents of all backgrounds. Building a sustainable economy is key to championing economic justice and workers' rights.

Expanding Boston’s green spaces

We must ensure all residents have access to the natural spaces that build ecosystem resilience while improving public health. Urban forests provide shade and protect against heat waves, mitigate exposure to air pollutants, and improve our mental health, while also sequestering carbon in the soil. And beyond its environmental benefits, urban agriculture also promotes community engagement in public space, allowing residents to grow food that is nutritious and culturally relevant. Boston must work to expand its urban tree canopy and its network of urban farms to ensure all residents can enjoy the benefits of these green spaces.

Michelle's RecordWhat We’ve Done Together So Far