On Earth Day, Winchester commits to net zero greenhouse gas emissions (Winchester Wicked Local 4/23/19)
In recent years Winchester has ramped up its efforts in combating climate change, and this Earth Day the town made another important commitment. In a unanimous vote, Winchester Select Board adopted an ambitious goal: “Winchester will strive toward net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with a commitment to reach at least an 80 percent reduction below the 2006 baseline emission level of GHG emissions by 2050; and interim goals of 40 percent reduction by 2030 and 60 percent reduction by 2040,” said the statement adopted by the Board.
“This is a terrific endorsement by the Board to move Winchester toward greater climate-resiliency,” said Ruth Trimarchi, the chair of the Climate Action Advisory Committee, a group that put forth the suggested statement.
But to help achieve the goal, Winchester needs a Climate Action Plan, a road map for getting to its goal. Town Manager Lisa Wong formed a new Climate Action Plan Committee to update the town’s Climate Action Plan from 2011. The plan is slated to be completed in November 2019, around the projected release date of the town’s Master Plan in February 2020. Between the Climate Action Committee and the Climate Action Advisory Committee, there are 15 people dedicated to working on climate change in Winchester. (read more)
BREWSTER -- Get green.
That’s the message 300-plus citizens have for the Cape Cod Commission.
The commission is green and its recently released 2019 Regional Policy Plan addresses changing climate, sea level rise and coastal resiliency, but the citizens want to see a proactive approach rather than a reactive one.
“About two years ago folks came together as 350 Cape Cod and agreed on getting the Cape Cod Commission, as they updated the policy plan, to focus on reducing emissions as one of the action plan’s priorities. We identified the Regional Policy Plan on its ability to make a difference on the regional level,” explained Chris Powicki of Brewster, one of the petition initiators.
The group is committed to climate action and has a website, 350capecod.org. It, and its name, was inspired by activist Bill McKinnon, who has said the safe level of atmospheric carbon is 350 parts per million (it is now over 400).
So, under section 2-b, or Barnstable County Ordinance 91-8, the group surpassed the minimum of 100 signatures of registered voters, certified by county clerks, needed to request a hearing on amendments to the policy plan. (read more)
Somerville will celebrate sustainability and climate action during the third annual SustainVille Week from Saturday, April 27 through Saturday, May 4.
Activities include an Arbor Day and Gardening Fair, a self-guided citywide sustainability tour, an interactive panel discussion about the changing world of waste and recycling, and more.
The SustainVille program is a citywide initiative to reduce Somerville’s contribution to climate change and to develop the city’s ability to prepare for its impacts. Somerville has set ambitious goals, including a commitment to being a carbon neutral city by 2050.
To achieve this, Somerville will need to drastically reduce its energy use in buildings, transportation, and waste disposal, and transition to clean, renewable energy sources. However, Mayor Joseph Curtatone said Somerville residents will also play a large role in meeting the city’s goals. (read more)
NAHANT — Nahant is going green with some green from the state.
It is now among 240 Massachusetts municipalities that have committed to lowering energy consumption by 20 percent in the next five years, in exchange for funds to help it get there.
“This is a huge honor for me,” said Town Administrator Tony Barletta. “I used to work with the Department of Energy Resources. To have the town embarking on this program is great.”
Since the program began in 2010, the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has awarded more than $100 million in grant funding to Massachusetts cities and towns through designations and competitive grants. Under the Green Communities Act, the program can provide up to $20 million annually to qualified cities and towns. The goal is to support investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the clean energy goals determined by the cities and towns. (read more)
$4.9 million saved: In July 2017, the City established Somerville Community Choice Electricity to offer lower electricity rates and more renewable energy sources to local residential electricity customers. Because the program also locked in an electricity rate for 30 months, the hope was that it would also save ratepayers money—and it has. By June 2019, Somerville Community Choice Electricity customers will save a total of $4.9 million. That works out to an average savings of $145 per residential account.
Down 16%: Since fiscal year 2014 (fiscal years go from July 1 through June 30), Somerville has reduced energy use in municipal buildings by 16%. We’re working toward a goal set by the State’s Green Communities program to reduce our municipal building energy use by 20% by the end of fiscal year 2019. While we’ve made a lot of progress with energy efficiency measures, we also know we’ll be facing challenges going forward. Perhaps the biggest challenge to an overall reduction in energy use is the addition of municipal space. When the new high school is complete or if the City were to add additional office space, our overall energy use will likely increase, which would lead to a smaller reduction percentage. (read more)
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