The Green New Deal for Cambridge is a collection of policies to reduce emissions from large commercial buildings, create economic and educational opportunities through green jobs training programs, and position Cambridge as a leader in climate action.
Did you know that Kendall Square is one of the most expensive business districts in the United States? (1) The main reason for this is the presence of millions of square feet of biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and commercial office space. Concentrating all that wealth in one tiny area has created a tale of two cities, in which many people of color and low or moderate-income residents have been displaced, and those who remain experience extreme inequality in access to resources and opportunity, as well as transportation and affordability challenges. (2) Large commercial buildings are the biggest contributors to emissions in our city. () They make up more than half of our total emissions profile, () while residential buildings account for just 8% (). For this reason, the Cambridge Green New Deal (GND) focuses on reducing emissions from large commercial buildings, while housing and residential properties are exempt from the timeline proposed in the GND.
The Green New Deal proposes that we begin more robust emissions benchmarking processes to allow us to better address the challenge of emissions reduction, create green jobs training programs to combat inequality and upskill the workforce of tomorrow, and address the largest source of emissions in our city, large commercial buildings. Any fees collected by these programs for alternative compliance will be used for energy efficiency projects, and funding green jobs training programs with direct benefit to low-income and minority communities. We have an opportunity to combat air pollution, make our city more resilient to the dangerous effects of urban heat, and create economic opportunities for community members who have been left behind. Join us to help pass a Green New Deal for Cambridge!