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Boston - The City of Boston in the United States has signed an executive order eliminating fossil fuels from new city-owned buildings. Mayor Michelle Wu’s ruling also applies to renovations of existing city-owned buildings. The executive order takes immediate effect.

The Mayor of the City of Boston, Michelle Wu, has signed an executive order (EO) banning the use of fossil fuels in new city-owned buildings and in major renovations of existing buildings. According to a city government statement, the functions of the EO will take immediate effect, exempting projects currently in procurement, design or construction. In Boston, municipal emissions constitute 2.3 per cent of all carbon emissions, and over 70 per cent of the city’s emissions are from buildings. 

With the implementation of the EO, all new municipal buildings will be planned, designed, and constructed so that heating, ventilation, air conditioning, hot water and cooking systems will not combust or directly connect to fossil fuels. In addition, any project that replaces these systems in a building must eliminate fossil fuel combustion in the affected system.  

“As the owner of over 16 million square feet of property, the City’s commitment to fossil fuel free buildings will add substantial demand to the many trades and professions that are part of the green building ecosystem,” writes the city government. In addition, the EO “will improve public health and make the buildings more cost-effective to operate in the long run”. 

To support the implementation, Boston’s Operations Cabinet is launching a Facilities Condition Assessment to identify decarbonization projects. It includes 132,510,000 US dollars for building design projects that will advance decarbonization, according to the statement. Boston’s Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance requires all covered buildings, including municipal buildings, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. 

“Week after week, we see the signs of extreme heat, storms, and flooding that remind us of a closing window to take climate action,” said Mayor Michelle Wu during the announcement of the EO. “The benefits of embracing fossil fuel-free infrastructure in our City hold no boundary across industries and communities, and Boston will continue using every possible tool to build the green, clean, healthy, and prosperous future our city deserves.” ce/em