CAMBRIDGE, MASS.—Cambridge, a leader in innovation and technology, recently announced plans to become America’s greenest city. Cambridge is the first city to make such an aggressive move with green initiatives. The city has several partners. Two organizations in particular have helped to make Cambridge’s transformation possible: the Cambridge Climate Protection Plan (CCPP) and the Cambridge Climate Leader Program (CCLP).
The Climate Protection Plan, developed by Climate Protection Task Force and city staff, has a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below the 1990 levels by 2010. This initiative plans to tackle issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, waste production, transportation and land use in order to achieve its goals.
The Climate Leader Program works in conjunction with the Cambridge Climate Protection Plan. This partnership allows for Cambridge businesses and organizations to be part of the community-wide effort to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. The following tourism institutions have committed to the Climate Leader Program: Inn at Harvard, Irving House, Ole Mexican Grill, and Cambridge Brewing Co.
Cambridge is dedicated to continuing its own emission reduction efforts, and to publicly recognize the efforts and accomplishments of Climate Leaders. Further, the city will work towards developing programs to support the Climate Leaders.
Energy Alliance to Document Progress
In addition, the Cambridge Energy Alliance (CEA), a newly created organization, will design, market, finance, manage and document unprecedented efficiency improvements in the use of energy, water and transportation in the city of Cambridge over the next five to seven years. They will carry out a more than $100 million efficiency effort offering new technical services and financing options. Where feasible, the CEA will also support installations of new renewable and clean energy generation, and technologies that curb electricity use during peak demand periods.
If Cambridge meets its goals, energy specialists predict this endeavor will not only have reduced annual carbon emissions by 150,000 tons, but will also have established a precedent by which other cities will be measured for years to come.
Robyn Bell, the cxecutive director of the Cambridge Office for Tourism, is thrilled with the city’s commitment.
“I am so pleased to see Cambridge once again taking the lead in another innovative venture,” Bell says. “The city has really banded together in this commitment, with cooperation from several tourism entities that are supportive to this cause.”
Cambridge has a long history of remaining on the cutting edge of innovative green initiatives. The first hybrid car service, PlanetTran, offers modern, clean, and environmentally friendly pick-up and drop service to Logan airport and other city points. It was launched in 2004.