Skip to main content

Somerville’s Community Climate Action Plan

Climate Forward is Somerville’s plan to creating a strong, healthy community in the face of climate change while simultaneously reducing climate pollution, also referred to as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and our dependence on fossil fuels.

Climate Forward builds upon the successes over the past five years, since the first iteration of Climate Forward was released in 2018. Drawing upon community feedback and the latest climate data, this plan lays out new priorities and strategies that will be implemented through 2035 across different sectors, including energy, buildings, natural resources, mobility, waste, and community health.

Climate Forward holds Somerville to a higher standard in terms of reducing GHG emissions, the primary pollution causing climate change. Not only is Somerville committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, but Mayor Ballantyne’s Administration aspires to reach carbon net-negative in the future as well. 

Read about our progress to date on implementing Climate Forward in the annual progress reports: 

Contact Information

Executive Summary

The Climate Forward Executive Summary provides an overview of the plan development process, how climate change is impacting Somerville, our community climate action goals, and how the community worked together to update the plan. 


The Vision 

Our vision for a climate forward Somerville is an equitable, carbon-net negative, resilient, and thriving community. Learn more about this vision and how Somerville will achieve this vision below.

  • Equitable: Somerville will transform practices to address structural and institutional inequities, allowing resources and the benefits and opportunities created by climate action to be justly distributed to all.
  • Carbon net-negative: Somerville will strive to reach net-negative GHG emissions by removing more emissions than the community emits, prioritizing the direct emission sources within Somerville.
  • Resilient: Somerville will adapt in order to prepare for the impacts of climate change, and in the process enhance local community power and capacity.
  • Thriving: Somerville will take bold, strategic, inclusive action, and invest in kids and innovation to take on global issues while keeping local interest the priority.
Somerville will become Climate Forward by equitability considering community needs, ensuring menaingful community involvement in implementation, and co-creating climate policies, and programs.


Climate Forward is organized into 5 key topic areas: Buildings & Energy, Community Health & Resiliency, Natural Resources & Waste, Transportation & Mobility, and Leadership. Learn more about the vision for each topic area below. 

The 5 topic areas of Climate Forward have unique vision statements to inspire action and direct action.


Goals and Metrics

For the first time, Somerville has established community climate action goals for 2030 and 2040. These interim greenhouse gas reduction goals, along with our goal of becoming carbon net-negative by 2050, will guide the strategies and actions identified in Climate Forward. 

Somerville has community greenhouse gas reduction goals for 2030, 2040, and 2050/


What is Carbon Net-Negative? Carbon Net-Negative means Somerville will remove more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than it emits as a community. See how carbon net-negative compares to carbon neutral and net zero below. 


Somerville's goal is to be carbon net-negative by 2050.


To take it a step further, the City and School Department have committed to interim goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in city and school operations and buildings.

The City and Schools have also established climate goals for 2030, 2040, and 2050.



Learn more about the Climate Forward plan update by watching a webinar presented to the community on May 16, 2024. The webinar summarizes the plan update process, reviews how community engagement and feedback influenced the plan update, and outlines next steps for plan implementation. Watch the webinar here or review the webinar slides here

Complete Plan PDF


Read the full Climate Forward here: Climate Forward (PDF)

Read the original 2018 Climate Forward plan.


The cover of the Climate Forward plan.

Please submit website feedback using this form. Be sure to include:

A description of the issue (if any)
A link to the affected pages

Thank you for your feedback!