Climate Conversations S1E7: Reaching Carbon Neutrality in Somerville, MA by 2050.

Content Tabs


This week, the Climate Conversations team interviews the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Somerville, Hannah Payne.

Hannah explains Somerville’s climate mitigation and adaptation plans, and how Somerville is preparing to be carbon neutral by 2050.

If you have a moment, please rate and subscribe to Climate Conversations on iTunes!


Ramon Bueno's picture

[It looks like I had placed

[It looks like I had placed my comment in the Soundcloud site, not here.. now I know]

We are fortunate to have a great team at Somerville’s Office of Sustainability & Environment (Hannah et al.) with vision and support from the Mayor, city officials, and residents. At the city’s Commission on Energy Use & Climate Change we see the progress made and get to engage with them and with many motivated and knowledgeable residents. All this is made easier having neighbors like Cambridge and Boston taking climate-related challenges seriously and being able to lean on ample local expertise from leading research and science institutions to explore and plan effective ways to move toward more sustainable and resilient practices, that work for all our neighbors and residents. This is doubly productive and satisfying if progress here helps others elsewhere in this state, in other states and other countries. There is much we all can learn and gain from each other’s experiences (which we can’t afford to ignore). All the better if ClimateX can play a role facilitating such dialogues.

Rick Shankman's picture

"In order to greatly cut back

"In order to greatly cut back on expended energy, Somerville has begun a solar campaign in which local homeowners are encouraged to place solar panels on their houses to reduce the amount of energy consumed by individual homes, Sellers-Garcia said"

See... Somerville initiatives advance carbon-neutral goals

"All the better if ClimateX can play a role facilitating such dialogues."

What does ClimateX do?  It hosts the company lobbying against home-based solar.

What does MIT do?  It partners with the company lobbying against home-based solar.

See... Massachusetts’ Biggest Utility Seeks Crippling Demand Charges for Customers - If approved, solar progress would come to a halt in the Commonwealth

Rick Shankman's picture

Hannah really did say they

Hannah really did say they organized community outreach and planted a tree.

What wasn't discussed at all is the enormous (PM2.5 and PM0.1) air pollution problem in Somerville related to I-93.

Tufts did a study (see... Big Road Blues - Living near a highway can be bad for your health in a million small ways) in which the dangers to the health of residents in proximity to I-93 were outlined.  The worst area of Somerville affected?  Foss Park.

"Most of the mortality, most of the economic impact [of fine and ultrafine particulates] are coming from cardiovascular disease."

It is even being suggested to build a wall to try to stem the wave of vehicular pollution endangering those who live near and use the park.

This is a warning from John Gravelin, one of those hired consultants Hannah mentioned...

"A leading problem-area in Somerville is Foss Park, said Gravelin, which is right off McGrath Highway.

'It gets the most exposure in Somerville,' he said. 'If people are being active there, then they increase their [pollutant] exposure.'”

If ever there was a city that should be lobbying for mandated renewable fuels use, it's Somerville; those fuels capable of eliminating many noxious emissions, particulate emissions, and reducing carbon emissions.

Oh, where did they plant that (apple) tree?  Yep, Foss Park.

See... Somerville organizations hope to tackle air pollution​