Confronting Climate Change

Medford’s Climate Vision

We strive to make Medford a place where everyone can thrive, now and for generations to come. Planning for a future that is just, equitable, resilient, healthy, and carbon neutral is essential to realizing this vision.

Commitment to Climate Resiliency

Medford’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan was released in April 2022 and is available to read or download here. This plan was developed with the input of the public, staff, non-profits and state agencies throughout 2019-2021. Information about the development of the plan are on pages 60-62. 

The City’s Climate Vulnerability Assessment was released in 2019 and can be viewed here.

In 2021, the Office of Planning, Development and Sustainability released a 20-year Retrospective on the climate work done by the City of Medford. 

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.

Involvement in Climate Change Initiatives

Metro Mayors Coalition, a group of 16 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 is 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 the communities of the Mystic River Watershed to work on climate change issues facing our region. Staff from Medford’s Office of Planning, Development, and Sustainability, Engineering Office, and Health Department are active participants in the collaborative, which has brought millions of dollars in funding to climate issues in the Mystic River Watershed.

Medford is a Massachusetts Green Community, and has been reporting on our municipal green house gasses annually since 2010.

In 2021, Medford committed to the Global “Race to Zero” campaign, pledging to cut our greenhouse gases in half by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. 

Medford is part of the US Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge, where we were the first Massachusetts community to join the Challenge. 

Did you know?

According to the Trust for Public Land, 100% of Medford homes are located within a ten-minute walk of a park. Parks can counter urban heat, store carbon in trees, plants, and soil, and absorb stormwater to reduce flooding. They are important urban infrastructure that make cities better equipped to fight climate change. Learn more about Medford’s green space here

Medford’s commitment to climate resiliency dates 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

✓ Opt into renewable energy through Medford’s Community Electricity Aggregation Program

✓ Sign up for a free home energy audit to identify ways to save energy

✓ Take public transportation, walk, or bike instead of driving when possible

✓ Reduce waste: buy less, recycle and reuse, compost food waste

✓ Research installing solar panels on your home

Learn More

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

Receive updates about climate change initiatives in Medford: