Hearing from community on building regulations

Last week, the Boston Climate Action Network held a series of focus groups to gather input from community members across the city to inform regulations on carbon emissions from buildings, as a part of our work on the Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance.

The Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) is a City of Boston law that reduces carbon emissions from the city’s largest buildings. It also requires building owners to report their emissions publicly. The Boston Climate Action Network helped to pass a strengthened version of this ordinance in 2021, ensuring there was real enforcement power by the City, protecting environmental justice communities, and requiring more buildings to be compliant with the law. Now, two BCAN members sit on the City of Boston’s Community Advisory Group on this ordinance to help inform the development of the regulations. These regulations fill in the details to implement the ordinance. These regulations will be finalized by the end of 2023 and will take effect at the start of 2024. To ensure the regulations meet the needs of our community, BCAN held focus groups to gather input from residents of buildings under the jurisdiction of BERDO. Such buildings contain 15 or more apartment units. We heard from residents from a variety of neighborhoods, including East Boston, Allston, Mission Hill, South Boston, and Jamaica Plain. This valuable feedback will be given back to the City of Boston, which will revise its regulations based on it. From there, the City will issue a report on how exactly they used community feedback. We’ll share more information about this once we have it.

If you’re interested in getting more involved with the writing of BERDO regulations, sign up to volunteer with BCAN.