Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Boston Mayor Praises CAP-CEED Report on Fighting Climate Change
Press Release

RELEASE: Boston Mayor Praises CAP-CEED Report on Fighting Climate Change

Boston — Officials from the Center for American Progress and the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED) joined Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh (D) today to celebrate the city’s leadership in helping fight climate change through actions that also address economic, racial, and social equity issues.

Walsh cited a recent report from CAP and CEED that recognizes efforts in Boston and other cities across the country to curb carbon pollution through urban projects that reduce the risk of floods, pollution, and damage caused by extreme weather.

The report specifically highlights the progress being made in Boston that advances inclusion and equity goals in the city’s climate action and preparedness plans.

“The effects of climate disproportionately impact some communities over others, and cities across the country have a responsibility to not only acknowledge these inequities but also to develop and implement strategies to address them,” Walsh said during an appearance at Boston’s Moakley Park. “I’m proud that the city of Boston recognizes how climate resilience, and social equity intersect, and what we’ve accomplished in that realm. CAP and CEED are leaders on many issues, and it’s great to work alongside them and other mayors across the country to reach these common goals.”

Cecilia Martinez, executive director of CEED and co-author of the report, said the report assessed dozens of city climate action and resilience plans and found that Walsh’s Resilient Boston plan puts forth the most comprehensive, action-oriented strategy that serves as a model for other cities.

“Mayor Walsh has embraced the need to achieve racial and economic equity as the central strategy for building citywide resilience to more extreme weather and climate change,” said Martinez. “Boston is committed to combating climate change, while also tackling the historic racial and economic inequities that make the city’s communities of color and low-income areas the most vulnerable to climate change. This commitment is both ambitious and essential to ensuring a resilient and prosperous future for Boston.”

Cathleen Kelly, senior fellow for Energy and Environment at CAP, called Walsh a leader for recognizing that creating equitable economic opportunities is key to helping Bostonians prepare for the effects of climate change and other shocks.

“By tearing down historic barriers to economic opportunity for communities of color and families living paycheck to paycheck, mayors can ensure that all residents have access to living wages; affordable housing; and the means to withstand the new normal of more floods, storms, and other climate change risks,” Kelly said. “The mayor’s Resilient Boston plan is groundbreaking in that it aims to create pathways to good-paying jobs for Boston’s communities of color, including by connecting all residents to the city’s economic hubs through reliable public transportation networks and by expanding education opportunities for people of color.”

Along with stressing the importance of the inclusion of equity and justice goals and principles in cities’ climate action and preparedness plans, the report recommends nine key policy areas for mayors across the country to focus on in forming their resilience and climate strategies. These include supporting social cohesion and deeply connected communities, collaborating with community groups and building neighborhood capacity to shape and implement climate change solutions, increasing access to affordable and clean energy, and investing in resilient infrastructure and nature-based solutions.

The city of Boston has implemented several plans and initiatives recognized by CAP and CEED for leading the way on equitable climate resiliency, including Imagine Boston 2030 and Resilient Boston.

Read the report, “A Framework for Local Action on Climate Change,” by Cathleen Kelly, Cecilia Martinez, and Walker Hathaway-Williams.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Sam Hananel at or 202.478.6327.