Confronting Climate Change

Picture shows man shoveling snow with piles above his head, both in front and behind him.
Medford Shoveler Winter 2015

Medford is committed to confronting climate change and creating a resilient community. View the City’s Climate Vulnerability Assessment here.

Medford staff in the Office of Energy & Environment are working on a Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Plan, while staff throughout the administration have been and continue to work on adaptation and mitigation actions. During the winter of 2019-2020 small working groups met to refine actions proposed by the public, staff, non-profits and state agencies to form the basis of the plan.

Hazard Mitigation Plan

Medford has also created a hazard mitigation plan, the most current of which was updated in 2017. Hazard mitigation planning is a proactive effort to identify actions that can be taken to reduce the dangers to life and property from natural hazard events. In the greater Boston area hazard mitigation planning tends to focus most on flooding, which is the most likely natural hazard to impact these communities. The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires all municipalities that wish to be eligible to receive FEMA funding for hazard mitigation grants, to adopt a local multi-hazard mitigation plan and update this plan in five year intervals.

Medford’s Commitment to Climate Resiliency

Medford participates in a number of climate change initiatives, some of which are listed below:

Metro Mayors Coalition, a group of 15 Boston-area mayors tackling climate change issues together. In 2015 they signed a commitment to climate preparedness and in 2016 signed a historic agreement to go net-zero region-wide by 2050.

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, an international alliance with a shared long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low emission, resilient society.

Climate Mayors, a US mayors group working on local action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to support federal and global-level policy actions.

Medford staff have played a vital role in forming the Resilient Mystic Collaborative, bringing together communities throughout the Mystic River Watershed to work on climate change issues facing our region. Additionally, Medford is a founding member of the New England Municipal Sustainability Network.

Medford is a Massachusetts Green Community, and has been reporting on our municipal green house gasses annually since 2010. We are also part of the US Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge, where we were the first Massachusetts community to join the Challenge. Our annual Better Buildings data is shared here.

Medford’s commitment to climate resiliency goes back to 1999 when the City joined the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, sponsored by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). This partnership between the City and ICLEI allowed the City to hire a graduate student intern to complete a greenhouse gas emissions inventory during the summer of 1999. Read the press release, the original Memorandum of Understanding between Medford and ICLEI, and the list of the other 55 cities participating in this initiative here.

Take action.
Individual actions, added together, can make a real difference in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

Learn more.
Medford has produced a series of reports and documents on energy use, climate change impacts and more. Read them here:

Sign up to receive updates about climate change initiatives in Medford: