The Boston Climate Action Network (BCAN)’s mission is to organize Boston residents and collaborate with other social justice allies to advocate for climate justice and urgent action on the climate emergency by the City of Boston and other policymakers.
At BCAN, we turn individual passion for the global environment into collective, local action. Our mission is to catalyze Boston’s government, communities, and other stakeholders to take decisive steps to reduce the carbon emissions that cause climate change.
Climate change affects everyone, and is impacting us all right now. But it also impacts people along existing lines of oppression first and worst. Like everywhere on earth, here in Boston, people of color, low income folks, people with disabilities, women, and other marginalized identities experience the consequences of climate change disproportionately, while having done the least to cause it.
Climate change is a global problem; it is also affecting every city and town locally, and Boston is no exception. Temperatures in New England are 3°F higher than they were in 1901, and the seas off Boston have risen 3 inches since 2000 alone. Climate change threatens every aspect of our beloved oceanfront city: its infrastructure and buildings, its economy, and the wellbeing and very lives of everyone who lives or works here. If we don’t come together with the rest of the planet to reduce greenhouse gas pollution drastically—and quickly—heat-related deaths in Boston could double or more by the 2050s. So-called “hundred-year” floods could happen monthly by the 2070s. Damages could total $455 million—or much more—per year by 2100. And many of these effects will fall hardest on those with the least resources to weather the storms.
To make a difference for yourself, your community, your children, and your grandchildren, we invite you to engage, learn, and act.
Are you interested in getting involved with BCAN? We are fueled by volunteers, and need action-oriented Bostonians to join us. There are infinite ways for you to put your passion and skills to use within our network. Here are just a few examples:
- Table at local events, help get signatures for important petitions, and engage your neighbors in taking action on climate change
- Attend our BCAN twice-monthly meetings to:
- Plan campaigns, and develop tactics and strategies
- Collaborate with other Boston-based groups
- Meet other like-minded people who share the same passions
- Join our Communications Team and contribute to our bi-weekly newsletter and social media
- Join our Public Education Team and participate in presentations to local organizations, such as neighborhood associations and student groups
- Contribute to research, policy work, and data analysis to further our campaigns
- Participate in creating art for use in demonstrations or other public events (music, banners, theatrical props, etc.)
- Sign up on our email list to get newsletters and action alerts for virtual and in-person actions!
If you would like to speak further with someone about ways to get involved, or if you have any questions, email our Advocacy Director, Sophie Cash, at email@example.com. We’d love to talk more with you about our work!
The Boston Climate Action Network (BCAN) has been operating since the early 2000s. We’re members of the Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN), the Green Justice Coalition, the Boston Clean Energy Coalition, Mass Power Forward, and the Mass Renews Alliance.
Green Buildings: Promoting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from Boston’s largest existing buildings. The piece of legislation that our coalition was fighting for, BERDO (the Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance) passed unanimously in fall of 2021. With those same partners, we continue to keep the city accountable to its environmental justice goals and promises. (2018 to present)
Community Choice Energy: Led a coalition of groups pushing the City of Boston to pass an ordinance to establish a municipal electricity aggregation program. (2016 to 2021)
Gas Leaks: Worked to stop methane leaks from gas pipelines under our streets. Influenced the successful passage of a Gas Leak Ordinance by the Boston City Council in December, 2016. Led to formation of Gas Leaks Allies. (2013 to present)
City of Boston Climate Policy:
Helped convene the first and second “Step It Up” rallies in Boston, leading to the founding of 350.org and promulgation of the first goal for City of Boston climate mitigation: an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. (2007)
Played an instrumental role in the public process that resulted in the City of Boston’s first climate action plan, and remained active in the process of the 2014 and 2019 revisions of the plan. (2010 to present)
Early 2000s Climate Justice:
Founding member of the Green Justice Coalition. Convened by Community Labor United, GJC links labor, environmental, and social justice organizations to promote solutions to the climate crisis that serve our mutual organizing goals. GJC’s first goal was to expand access to, and funding for, energy efficiency programs. (2008 to present)
Organized energy fairs in Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Mission Hill, and other neighborhoods to bring energy efficiency resources to neighborhood residents, starting with an energy fair in Fields Corner with remarks by Van Jones. (2007-2011)
Assisted the City of Boston with energy efficiency education and engagement through door-to-door outreach for Renew Boston, including training teen leaders at Urban Edge. (2010-2011)
Partnered with the Home Energy Efficiency Team to led energy efficiency skill-building workshops called “barn raisings,” in both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking homes. (2009-2013)
Organized Green Block groups and lead Low Carbon Living groups in Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill, training volunteers to lead groups and share information to help reduce energy use and make more sustainable energy decisions. (2008-2013)