Informing Electrification in Cambridge, MA

Project Partner: Cambridge City Councillor Quinton Zondervan, Summer 2020

Project Summary: Cambridge, MA, has a goal to transition off of fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas) toward more electrification in the coming decades as a part of its climate action initiative. One concern that City Councillor Quinton Zondervan had about realizing these goals was that Cambridge still allows for natural gas infrastructure to be installed in new buildings, thus slowing the overall transition. In efforts to expedite electrification, Jessica worked with Councillor Zondervan to write three policy briefs highlighting the scientific evidence and support for an ordinance transitioning towards electrification by banning natural gas infrastructure in new buildings. The briefs focused on 1) the public health benefits of a move off of natural gas, 2) the climate change impacts of natural gas energy and the benefits of electrification, and 3) the job market prospects for a wide-scale energy transition. These policy briefs were presented to the Cambridge City Council as Councillor Zondervan’s ordinance was discussed.

Project Deliverables: Three policy briefs focused on Climate Change, the Job Market, and Public Health.

Street trees on a residential street.
Street trees in Cambridge, MA, that could be protected by a move off of natural gas.

Jess and her URBAN internship were also featured in a video about BU URBAN, below!