Who We Are

At Boston Climate Action Network, 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.   

Why Act?

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 ability to cope.

To spare yourself, your children, and your grandchildren from this future, we invite you to engage, learn, and act.

Get Involved

Are you interested in getting involved with BCAN? We need action-oriented Bostonians to join us, and there are many 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 lively discussion about climate change and climate action.
  • Join our communications team and contribute to our bi-weekly newsletter.
  • Attend our BCAN twice-monthly meetings in Jamaica Plain to:
    • Plan campaigns, and develop tactics and strategies
    • Collaborate with other Boston-based groups
    • Meet other like-minded people who share the same passions
    • Enjoy free refreshments!
  • Participate in creating art for use in demonstrations or other public events (music, banners, theatrical props, etc.)

If you would like to speak further with someone about ways to get involved, or if you have any questions, email andy@bostoncan.org. We’d love to talk more with you about our work!

History

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, and Mass Power Forward.

Present campaigns:

Green Buildings: Promoting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from Boston’s largest existing  buildings (2018 to present)

Community Choice Energy: expand access to renewable energy for all Boston residents (2016 to present)

Past campaigns:

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)

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)

Partnered with ACORN to lead energy efficiency and climate change classes in Dorchester and Mattapan, and to train working-class African Americans and Latinos to lead classes. (2007-2009)

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)

Energy Efficiency: 

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)