Back from Paris, Boston enviro chief sees opportunities

Printed from:

BOSTON — Boston’s new environmental commissioner called the Hub an example of why cities need to take an active role in addressing their own climate concerns and believes the city could gain from the new international climate change deal.

Shortly after his appointment by Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Environmental Commissioner Carl Spector flew to Paris, along with other members of the Walsh administration, to attend city-focused events that were part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

In an interview this week with the News Service, Spector said cities “have not been waiting for our federal government or national government or state government to take action” and have the authority, legal standing and local support to take action. He continued, “We’ve seen the results of that in Boston.”

In Paris, Spector accepted an award for the city’s Greenovate Boston initiative from the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. The C40 organization, which Boston joined over a year ago, is made up of cities that have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Asked about the impact of the international agreement on Boston, Spector said that while the agreement was not perfect, Boston will have the opportunity to lead based on its investment in energy technologies.

“The work that we’re doing here in developing those technologies, piloting them, and pioneering in the installation of them provides an opportunity for students, for scientists, for businesses who worked on those types of systems and innovations to start here and spread it around the world,” Spector said.

In the interview, Spector described what it was like to represent Boston on the world stage, being in Paris after last month’s terror attacks, and why so many of his international colleagues are “curious” about Boston’s plans to tackle climate change.

— Written by Antonio Caban

Copyright State House News