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Amherst eyes climate action plan

Amherst eyes climate action plan

From the Daily Hampshire Gazette:

AMHERST — A roadmap for achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in Amherst, through measures such as increasing renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency in buildings and reducing dependence on gas-powered vehicles, is in the hands of the Town Council.

Councilors last week received what is known as the Climate Action, Adaptation and Resilience Plan, or CAARP, a 173-page document that Sustainability Coordinator Stephanie Ciccarello said aims to achieve the council’s previously adopted goals related to confronting climate change.

Those goals include getting Amherst to 25% below 2016 baseline climate emissions inventory by 2025 and 50% below those emissions levels by 2030, with full carbon neutrality by 2050 — which Ciccarello calls “a very lofty goal.”

“These are bold initiatives that are important, but we can’t be afraid to make that commitment,” Ciccarello said, adding that the world may already be beyond the point of no return with climate change, pointing to the high temperatures being experienced in the western half of the United States this month. “We need to make sure these things happen within the community because if we keep putting it off, the problem just gets worse.”

“The implementation of this plan is going to require action and collaboration from all community members and all levels of government,” said Laura Draucker, chairwoman of the Energy and Climate Action Committee. …

Both the initial part of the plan, Roadmap to 2025, and the Beyond 2025, cover five areas: governance and communications; buildings; renewable energy; land use and natural systems; and transportation and infrastructure.

In each area there are strategies that can be used, such as promoting equity through planning and decision making; encouraging energy efficiency by multifamily building energy retrofits, single-family deep energy retrofits and beneficial electrification; growing food locally and expanding the mobile food market; and decarbonizing vehicles and getting to zero waste

An introductory letter to the plan penned by Town Manager Paul Bockelman informs councilors of the rationale: “We are on the precipice of a very important time in history in which the decisions and actions we take now will determine the world we leave to our children in the future. We must acknowledge that our collective attempts at change have been inadequate to withstand the repercussions from delayed global action.” …

Read more here:

Legislative Actions

Time critical actions:

Municipal Sustainability Checklist

We have created a municipal “sustainability checklist” that can help towns compare what they are doing with other towns, as well as get ideas and encourage collaboration. For residents, the checklist helps understand what towns are doing and not doing, as well as set priorities for local advocacy. For organizers, the checklist is an excellent tool to organize local groups around, and to build networks of people who care about sustainability.

Click here for details.