On October 24th, Needham residents and town community gathered at Olin College for a community conversation on energy and the environment.

Anthony Brooks, veteran NPR reporter and co-host of WBUR’s Radio Boston, opened the session by leading a discussion with Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia and Green Needham Chair Michael Greis on the role of the state, communities and households in creating our energy and economic future.

That future is outlined in the Massachusetts 2020 Clean Energy and Climate Plan, with its goals of reducing energy costs, creating energy independence, accelerating the development of a clean energy economy for Massachusetts and addressing global climate change.

The conversation covered how we get there. The Legislature and the Administration have together implemented legislation – the Green Communities Act, the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Green Jobs act and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – that provide tools to achieve those goals. The conversation ranged over the how those tools are being used by state agencies, communities, businesses and households across Massachusetts as well as some of the challenges we face going forward.

With the stage having been set, the evening was turned over to the audience as they moved to break-out sessions prepared and guided by local college and high school students. In those sessions, community members and leaders generated and discussed ideas on what Needham could be in 2020 and how we might get there. The break-out sessions covered: Water, Food, Transportation, Energy Sources & Choices, Development: the Built Environment, Energy Efficiency & Conservation and Green Economy: Opportunities & Skills.

Following the break-out sessions, the audience re-assembled and Anthony Brooks took the student leaders and the audience through the ideas generated by the groups.

Find out more about the session:

Needham Summit on Energy and the Environment
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