Monday, June 24, 2024

I write to urge city councillors to pass the strongest possible Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance amendments, with a target date on net-zero greenhouse gases of 2035 for large emitters, and effective financial support for smaller emitters. A net-zero target date of 2050 is clearly inadequate, given the increased urgency of the climate crisis.

Please also minimize the use of global offsets. Boston plans to allow only 10 percent of emissions to be compensated for by carbon offsets, and the state up to 15 percent. Strict limits on offset use are essential, given the dubious and often counterproductive record of global offsets.

I attended a recent rally at City Hall sponsored by Sunrise and other environmental groups and was struck by the sincerity and passion of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students on this issue. Please do not fail the next generation by bending to pressure from corporations and universities to water down climate action. We have collectively delayed action for much too long, while engaging in fine-sounding rhetoric on climate. Now is the time to prove our commitment by taking strong action.

Jonathan Harris, Marie Avenue