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Cambridge Adopts Historic Building Emissions Regulations; Reinforces Role as National Climate Leader

Estimated Beudo Emissions Reductions Updated Chart
Estimated Emissions Reductions

After actively engaging various stakeholders, residents, climate activists, large institutions, and businesses for more than two years, the City of Cambridge last night became the first known city in the country to mandate non-residential buildings to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with a net zero requirement by 2035 for large buildings (larger than 100,000 square feet) and 2050 for mid-size buildings (100,000 square feet or smaller). While Massachusetts and the country have committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the City of Cambridge has now set a more aggressive initial target of 2035 reinforcing its role as a national climate leader.

In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a global report indicating that carbon pollution will need to be cut by approximately two-thirds by 2035 in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. With the adoption of these newest amendments to the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance (BEUDO), Cambridge’s BEUDO emissions will be reduced approximately 50 percent by 2030 compared to today and reduced by approximately 70 percent by 2035. The Net Zero Task Force, the Cambridge Climate Committee, and the Climate Crisis Working Group urged the prompt advancement of stronger BEUDO performance requirements.


BEUDO was first passed in 2014 and requires energy and water reporting from commercial properties over 25,000 square feet and residential properties over 50 units. This ordinance regulates approximately 1,100 buildings in Cambridge. This ongoing, coordinated effort to reduce the worst impacts of climate change and slow the pace of global warming will include greening the electrical grid as well as building energy efficiency and transitioning from fossil fuel use to electricity, geothermal, or other renewable energy sources.

The City is committed to supporting Cambridge property owners with robust technical assistance and connections to incentives and moving forward together with this challenging yet absolutely critical work.

For more information about BEUDO, please visit the Community Development website at Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance - CDD - City of Cambridge, Massachusetts (cambridgema.gov).

View additional information on Cambridge Building Energy and Water Use Data Disclosure 2015-2021 on the City’s Open Data Portal.

Page was posted on 6/27/2023 6:14 PM
Page was last modified on 8/15/2023 9:11 AM
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