Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced a climate change regional agreement between Boston and neighboring towns and cities on Wednesday morning at the Metro Boston Climate Preparedness Summit held at UMass Boston.
The agreement established the foundation to foster common policy framework throughout the Greater Boston Area in a unilateral effort to combat the effects of climate change called the Metropolitan Area Climate Preparedness Task Force. The taskforce will meet bimonthly to serve as an open channel between 14 cities and towns to coordinate action on critical regional infrastructure issues and to collect data for state and federal recommendations.
“We all share the same risks of climate control and the need to be prepared in the event that something should happen,” Walsh said. “We all know that we, in the City of Boston, are at risk of flooding as our seas levels are rising every day. My street is not on the flood map, but if we don’t do something to prevent it, I could easily end up with waterfront property.”
By signing onto the agreement, local leaders agreed to share information, assessments, plans and resources to identify crucial gaps in preparation. Mayor Walsh called the summit on the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy in October 2014. He and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone spoke about the increased need for unilateral action following the record-breaking winter the Boston area suffered this past February
“Neither the Atlantic Ocean nor the weather respects municipal boundaries,” Curtatone said. “The cities and towns of Metro Boston share built infrastructure and natural resources. If our region wants to mitigate the threat climate change and increase our resiliency, we also need to share common principles and work toward shared goals. This summit is a critical first step toward establishing those common principles and goals.”