Tuesday, June 5, 2018

CCE is not Rocket Science!

By Boston Climate Action Network

At a hearing on May 30, Boston City Councilors, energy experts, and community members all pressed Alison Brizius, Boston’s Director of Climate and Environmental Planning, for answers she often could not supply. Asked by Councilor Matt O’Malley to project a timeline for implementation of Community Choice Energy (CCE) – the climate mitigation measure passed unanimously by the City Council and signed by the Mayor seven months ago – Brizius indicated that her department, Environment, Energy, and Open Space (EEOS), was still studying its options.

Significance of CCE to Climate Mitigation

The five City Councilors in attendance: O’Malley, Michelle Wu, Ed Flynn, Josh Zakim, and Michael Flaherty, and the two that sent letters of support: Tim McCarthy and Lydia Edwards, all urged EEOS to move more quickly to implement what they see as a significant step to reducing the City’s collective carbon footprint. Invited panelist Ann Berwick, formerly the Undersecretary for Energy for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Chair of the Department of Public Utilities, described CCE as the most significant GHG reduction tool at a municipality’s disposal. Winston Vaughn, Senior Manager for Renewable Energy at Ceres invoked Boston’s commitment to the Paris Accord and asked administrators to make good on that pledge to urgently reduce emissions. Liz Stanton, Director and Principal Economist at Applied Economics Clinic, reported on the significant environmental benefits reported by other municipal aggregations.

Historical Pricing

Brizius repeatedly spoke of the department’s need for historical pricing data from other municipal aggregations as a way to project what rates Boston might attain through CCE. The panelists urged Brizius and EEOS to stop trying to gather this historical data. Stanton declared, "Historical energy prices are in no way indicative of future pricing." Vaughn noted that energy pricing is "extremely dynamic," and Berwick noted that "Trying to get pricing information now will not be fruitful. No one can tell you what prices will be a year from now."

Read the rest of the post on BCAN’s site.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Councilor Wu releases climate justice report

Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu has released Climate Justice for the City of Boston: Visioning Policies and Processes. The climate justice report recommends that the City Council
  • Call for climate justice as a framework for action institutionalized across all city processes, plans and policies
  • Urge the creation and use of a climate justice or climate equity checklist for future development projects
  • Follow New York City’s example of pledging to divest city pension funds from fossil fuel companies
Take a look at the full report and let the city council know what you think.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Community Choice Energy and bag ban become city policy

The City of Boston ended 2017 with two important steps:

The City Council passed and Mayor Walsh signed the Community Choice Energy order, which allows the city to determine where we buy our electricity and thereby increase the amount of renewables in the mix. GreeningRozzie stands with the Boston Climate Action Network and the Green Justice Coalition as they monitor the city’s efforts to implement Community Choice Energy.

The City Council also passed and Mayor Walsh also signed a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, which promises to reduce a major source of pollution in our neighborhoods and in the world’s oceans.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Memory Tree Project Profile: The Henderson Family

Photo by Renée DeKona

By Pam Sinotte

The Memory Tree Project is in its second year and we continue to hear stories of those who are caring for the city’s street trees in memory of loved ones.

Sarah Henderson explained why her family is participating in The Memory Tree Project:

Photo by Renée DeKona
“My brother Owen passed away in March 2017. He made the inexplicable decision to take his own life. As his family, we were left with many unimaginable and unanswered questions. We spent the first few weeks after his passing, walking zombie-like through Fallon Field. On one day, I happened to notice the signage on a tree outside the park. I contacted my friend Natalie, who works for Liz Malia's office and was immediately connected to Pam from The Memory Tree Project and the Office of Neighborhood Services for Roslindale. The next day Pam met with my mother and me to help guide us through our grief to elect the right tree to adopt. In the end, we remember my brother Owen through an oak tree. It stands strongly and protectively alongside the park yearning to provide shade and comfort to generations of children.”

Clockwise from the left in the photo, Aoife Marshall, Joann Henderson and Sarah Henderson water their memory tree.

We hope you’ll be inspired by Sarah and her family to join The Memory Tree Project and care for a street tree in memory of a loved one. You’ll be honoring a loved one, helping to reduce Roslindale’s carbon footprint, and beautifying the neighborhood! To sign up for your own tree, go to www.greeningrozzie.org/projects/memory-tree-project or email thememorytreeproject@gmail.com.

Rozzie Businesses Join The Memory Tree Project

By Pam Sinotte

Three local businesses have joined The Memory Tree Project: Pet Cabaret, CJM Insurance and Atlas Liquors.

Lisa DiPietro, co-owner of the Pet Cabaret at 4404 Washington Street, is watering a honey locust in memory of her dogs and cats.   

Paul Joyce, Chartered Financial Consultant of CJM Insurance at 147 Belgrade Avenue is watering a linden tree in memory of his beloved mother-in-law, Suzy Mousalli, who passed away in June of 2016. CJM and Anthony’s Tax Services are sharing watering duty.

Atlas Liquors co-owners Peter, Jeff and Natalie are caring for two ginkgo trees at their Roslindale store at 591 Hyde Park Avenue. They’re watering trees for Bernard White, their grandfather Lou White, the founder of Atlas Liquors, and his wife Beatrice. Lou and Beatrice are also honored in a new mural celebrating immigrants painted by The Mayor’s Mural Project.

Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business flows in. Tree-lined streets also slow traffic – enough to allow drivers to look at the store fronts instead of whizzing by. For more reasons to have and maintain street trees, see Top 22 Benefits of Trees.

When business owners take care of the trees near their businesses by watering them and clearing the tree pits of debris, they and the entire community benefit. When you patronize these businesses, please thank them for helping to make Roslindale a greener, more sustainable community!

   Photos by Pam Sinotte

MIT’s Climate CoLab wants you!

By Eric Smalley

MIT’s Climate CoLab is harnessing the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to address global climate change. The Climate CoLab is holding a set of seven contests to generate ideas to help people and communities deal with climate change.

The contest topics are:
  • Shifting attitudes and behaviors
  • Land-use: agriculture, forestry, waste management
  • Buildings
  • Energy Supply
  • Adaptation
  • Carbon pricing
  • Transportation
The deadline is September 10, 2017. Winners will be invited to MIT and will join the Climate CoLab winners’ alumni. A $10,000 Grand Prize winner will be selected from among winners across all seven contests.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

City Council weighs Community Choice Energy

By Eric Smalley

The Boston City Council held a working session on April 25th to take testimony and discuss bringing Community Choice Aggregation to Boston. Community Choice Aggregation will allow city residents to band together to buy greener electricity.

Experts and community leaders joined Austin Blackmon, head of the city’s Energy, Environment and Open Spaces department in giving testimony. The lively session was led by councilor Matt O’Malley, chair of the Environment & Sustainability committee.

Here’s a recent blog post about Community Choice Energy, the name of the campaign Boston Climate Action Network and the Green Justice Coalition are leading to bring Community Choice Aggregation to Boston.

You can watch the video: Working Session: Implementation of a Community Choice Aggregation in the City of Boston

Here’s what you can do to help make Community Choice Energy happen:
  • Call District Councilor Tim McCarthy at (617) 635-3040 and Mayor Marty Walsh at (617) 635-4500 and tell them to bring Community Choice Energy to Boston.
  • Help with the campaign for Community Choice Energy. If you’d like to join us, send a note to info@greeningrozzie.org.