Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are produced when we use energy in our homes and offices, dispose of waste or sewage, and use vehicles. GHGs trap heat in the atmosphere, leading to lasting disruptions in our climate, such as higher temperatures, sea level rise, and more frequent extreme weather events that can cause flooding. Cambridge, along with many other cities, organizations, and businesses, both nationally and internationally, has committed to significantly reduce GHG emissions by 2050 to avoid severe impacts from climate change.
Community GHG Emissions
Cambridge has established a goal to have net-zero GHG emissions community-wide by 2050.
In 2022, the City conducted a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory with data from 2019. Cambridge has committed to the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM), a global network of cities that have committed to reducing emissions, which requires that we update the inventory every 3 to 5 years.
Municipal GHG Emissions
Trends over time
In 2022, the City reduced greenhouse gas emissions (ghg) from municipal operations 38% below 2008 levels. The chart also depicts the significant impact of the planned procurement of 100% renewable electricity supply from a new renewable system with a commercial operation date on or about Dec. 2025.
Cambridge has established a Municipal GHG reduction goal of 30% below 2008 levels by 2020, with a stretch goal of 35%, and Net-Zero by 2050.
How Does Cambridge Track Municipal Emissions?
Cambridge has reduced its GHG emissions by 38% between 2008 and 2022 by decreasing energy use, switching to cleaner fuels, and reducing waste.
Did You Know?
Cambridge's 2022 GHG emissions from municipal operations are equivalent to the GHG emissions from 3,802 passenger vehicles driving for one year.
How You Can Help
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Throughout our daily lives, we all take actions that produce GHGs. Here are some actions you can take to reduce your contribution to the community's emissions:
- Reduce your energy use at home or work. Buildings represent nearly two-thirds of community GHG emissions.
- Switch to renewable energy. Clean energy sources produce fewer GHGs than fossil fuels.
- Reduce your waste by recycling and composting. Solid waste and incineration accounts for 6.4% of community GHG emissions.
- Prioritize low-carbon transportation. Cambridge residents have many options to get around without a vehicle.