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Boston mayor bans 'fossil fuels' in new city-owned buildings to advance 'racial and economic justice'
Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

Boston mayor bans 'fossil fuels' in new city-owned buildings to advance 'racial and economic justice'

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced that she has banned "fossil fuels" in new city-owned buildings after teaming up with the city's director of the Green New Deal.

The executive order was announced in a press release and will eliminate "the Use of Fossil Fuels in New Construction and Major Renovations of City Buildings."

The goal is "accelerating climate action by requiring that all new municipal buildings and major renovations operate without fossil fuels." The press release also claimed the move would reduce "emissions from Boston’s building sector while creating high-quality jobs, improving public health and quality of life, and advancing racial and economic justice."

All new buildings in the city must be planned, designed, and constructed using non-combustion for cooking (stoves/ovens), HVAC, and hot water apparatuses.

The mayor claimed that recent weather means that there isn't much time to make quick political changes.

“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 Wu. “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.”

The ordinance also sets emission standards for what are categorized as "large existing buildings," which also require all covered and municipal buildings to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The announcement boasted work by Oliver Sellers-Garcia, who is the city's first "Green New Deal director," a role the city created to make sure it was aligning with a radical climate agenda first promoted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2019.

The role officially "works across the City to advance climate action through strategies that address social, racial, and economic inequality."

“As part of the Green New Deal for Boston, we are taking an all-of-government approach, finding ways for our Cabinets and departments to play a role in climate action,” said Sellers-Garcia. “This Executive Order directs and empowers the Operations Cabinet and facilities managers across the City to lead the decarbonization of our building portfolio."

Sellers-Garcia, whose government page lists his preferred pronouns as "he/him/his," also assured citizens that the order will also apply to major renovations, because "the most sustainable way to make a green building is not to start from scratch.”

The mayor's office declared that any new capital investments must contribute to "the decarbonization of Boston’s building sector."

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