Medford Signs onto Global “Race to Zero” Campaign, Pledges to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Half by 2030

Medford is one of only a handful of Massachusetts communities to join the global campaign.

MEDFORD – The City of Medford has joined cities around the world in a pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, and further the city’s commitment to NetZero emissions, by joining the global “Cities Race to Zero” campaign, Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn announced. Ahead of the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference, the Race to Zero campaign aims to bring together a coalition of businesses, investors, cities, and regions working together to create jobs and tackle climate change. To date, Medford is one of only a handful of Massachusetts communities to join the campaign.

“Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions requires planning and policy changes at all levels, but we are committed to this goal. Signing onto this global campaign is just another small step we can take as a city that will have very real and meaningful outcomes. As part of our environmental work we are currently moving forward on or planning actions that fit so many of the Cities Race to Zero campaign’s recommended options that we couldn’t pick just one. While we have already undertaken several projects toward our goal – such as expanding our EV charging stations citywide, working to reduce energy and emissions in city facilities, and increasing our tree canopy – we will continue to work across departments and with the community to make even more progress over the next few years,” said Mayor Lungo-Koehn.

“Medford has been working hard on climate resiliency and reducing our greenhouse gases for many years. Committing to the Cities Race to Zero is a natural extension of our climate work. I’m thrilled that Medford has moved to integrating climate work into everything done throughout the city,” said Alicia Hunt, Director of the Office of Planning, Development, and Sustainability. “The actions we’ve selected specifically for this project include ongoing efforts in the Board of Health, Office of Outreach and Prevention, and in the DPW, in addition to efforts of the Office of Planning, Development and Sustainability. We have a great team here in Medford and our Climate work is noteworthy because of its integration throughout all of our departments rather than reliance on just one person or office.”

Though cities are among the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, accounting for more than 70% of total emissions, mayors and local leaders like Mayor Lungo-Koehn have emerged as global climate leaders. By signing on to the Race to Zero campaign, the City of Medford pledges to recognize and commit to addressing the global climate emergency through inclusive action, adopt a science-based emission reduction target, and plan and begin implementing specific inclusive climate policies.

In committing to the Cities Race to Zero Campaign, the City of Medford committed to the following action steps:
Create a More Inclusive Society
Move Toward Resilient and Sustainable Energy Systems
Advance Toward Zero Waste
Create Sustainable Food Systems
This month the City of Medford also plans to release an Executive Summary of its new Climate Action and Adaptation Plan that sets 32 strategies across four focus areas: Buildings & Energy, Ecosystems & Natural Environment, Public Health, and Transportation.

The Cities Race to Zero, a partnership among C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), CDP, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) aims to mobilize 1,000 cities around a global, zero-carbon COVID-19 recovery.

Medford city services are available to all residents, regardless of economic situation, immigration status, ability, benefit eligibility, or religious affiliation.

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