Boston is on a path to miss its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, according to the inaugural Boston Climate Progress Report.
If that fact wasn’t sobering enough, the researchers noted that Boston’s interim climate goals set for the year 2030, concerning community emission, is also off track by approximately five years.
“Boston is one of the few cities that assesses its progress on how well it is achieving the goals of climate action,” Northeastern professor Joan Fitzgerald, lead author of the report, said in a presentation Thursday.
She noted other climate-focused polities like Vancouver, B.C., and California are also behind on climate goals.
Naturally, these observations undergirded a pressing question: How do cities with aggressive and comprehensive plans still come up short? The answer is simple: Cities can’t act unilaterally.
“Cities do not have the authority to act on many of the decisions and changes that need to be made to get to net zero,” explained Fitzgerald. “They need state and federal policy to support their actions, and there are a lot of conflicting interests among all the actors that need to be on board.”